(Storm Lake) Understanding and Helping Kids with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

(Storm Lake) Understanding and Helping Kids with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

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Date(s) - Saturday, November 9, 2019
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

St. Mark Lutheran Church


Foster and adoptive parents will learn about how to identify problematic sexual behavior, the sexual assault cycle, review safety plans for the home, interpret actual high risk behaviors vs. myth, and talk about treatment options.

Potential foster families need to understand they can handle children with problematic sexual behavior. It’s a matter of keeping them safe and recognizing when there is danger and when there is not.

The Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • A dramatic change in behavior (ex. sudden onset of bed wetting, nightmares or discipline problems).
  • A reluctance to go to a particular place or be with a particular person, even though previous visits have caused no distress.
  • Depression, weepiness, refusal to get up in the morning, a bleak outlook.
  • Using sexual vocabulary they are too young to understand or which you have not taught; teaching sexual games to other children.
  • Need for more reassurance, loss of or sudden gain in appetite, turning against one parent. Older children may also be involved in truancy, drug abuse, delinquency, or running away.

Properly Differentiating Normal/Common Sexual Behavior and Problematic Sexual Behavior of Children
Indicators that can be identified on an individual, family, or community level:

(The National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth, n.d.).

  • Child vulnerabilities: attention deficit disorder, learning delays, reactions to traumatic events, or other factors that hinder a youth’s ability to control impulses and respect other’s boundaries.
  • Modeling of sexuality: inadequate information about bodies and sexuality, unhealthy boundaries or few rules about privacy in the home, exposure to adult sexual activity or nudity (including media exposure), or other factors that lead to a sexualized environment.
  • Modeling of coercion: exposure to family or community violence, physical abuse, bullying, or other factors that contribute to an environment that models coercion for youth.
  • Family adversity: parental depression, substance use, exposure to abuse, or other factors that hinder a family’s ability to provide close supervision

The Importance of Child-First Language
One of the most important things you can do as a professional is to avoid using shame-based language and labels; not to imply that these behaviors are not serious in nature, but that they are, in fact, behaviors and do not fully define the child. This shame, in part, prevents parents from seeking help for themselves and their children, and only leads to further risk.

The use of person-first language is a core value in the sexual assault movement as we recognize the strengths of each person and choose not to define individuals solely by their behaviors. Using child-first language also helps others to accurately identify those youth at risk (i.e. a child with behavior problems conjures up a very different image than a child offender), normalize the problem as a behavior, and offer hope to parents and families.

Developing Parenting Skills

  • Rules about sexual behavior and boundaries
  • Sexual education
  • Abuse prevention skills
  • Teaching the child impulse-control strategies

Instructor: Matthew Royster
Matthew Royster received his Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa. He was licensed by the State of Iowa in Mental Health Counseling in 2006. Matthew received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Campbell University and earned an Honorary Associate’s Degree from St. Anne’s of Oxford University, England.

This training has been approved for 3 hours of foster parent training credit.

Please print and fill out this certificate and bring it to the training. Have your caseworker and training facilitator sign the form to ensure you receive the CEUs available. Always notify your caseworker or recruiter of your intention to attend any of the training or support group events on this calendar. Acceptable proof would also include the signature of the trainer on either training materials or notes that includes the title and date of the training. If you have any questions, please call 712.732.5255.


Bookings are closed for this event.

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