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Spring 2005
March 1, 2005

Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
4900 S.W. Griffith Drive
Suite 274
Beaverton, OR 97005

Phone: 503.643.1023
Email: atsa@atsa.com
Web: www.atsa.com

Vol. XVII, No. 1
Winter 2005
Committee Reports


ETHICS COMMITTEE    

Jill Levenson, Chair

     

 

The Ethics Committee has had a busy year, and I want to thank the committee for all their hard work: Jim Worling, Migdalea Baerga, Marty Kafka, Rebecca Palmer, and Sandy Jung. I also want to congratulate Sandy Jung for completing her Ph.D. She will remain on the committee as a full member, and we are in the process of appointing a new student member. Iím sorry to report that Miggie and Jim have had to resign from the committee. We will miss them and we certainly appreciate their efforts during their tenure on the ethics committee.

 

This year we have reviewed cases involving termination of services and abandonment of clients, confidentiality, unprofessional behavior of clinicians toward clients, and pre-adjudication evaluations. It is this last topic that seems to have stirred much controversial dialogue among members.

 

As chair of the Ethics committee, I would like to clarify the Board's position on pre-adjudication evaluations. However, first let me reassure all ATSA members that ethics decisions are made by an interdisciplinary committee of six members from across North America. These volunteers spend many hours carefully and thoroughly reviewing all materials pertaining to an allegation of unethical behavior, and engage in an objective and thorough review of documentation. Of course, members who are alleged to have violated the ethical code are promptly notified and encouraged to respond and provide information that will be considered by the committee. When an ethical breach is identified, in virtually all cases, the action taken is not punitive, but corrective.

 

Confidentiality requirements prevent me from commenting about a particular case. I thank the membership for understanding that list-serv posts can not capture the entirety or complexity of significant events or decisions. Certainly, there are always different viewpoints on controversial issues, but ethics decisions are based solely on the Standards and Ethical Code approved by you, the membership. And, these decisions are never made lightly.

 

Regarding pre-adjudication evaluations let me clarify some misinformation that has circulated among members. First, ATSA has never prohibited members from conducting such assessments, and the Ethics committee has never determined that such evaluations constitute an ethical violation. Second, ATSA does not hold an assumption that every alleged offender is guilty, nor do ATSA standards preclude members from testifying in defense of a client. Most important, the ethics committee has never issued a reprimand "demanding" that a member never perform a pre-adjudication evaluation again.

 

The standards do require that members use caution when drawing conclusions from psychosexual testing, that evaluators offer interpretations that are reflective of the current state of science, and that testing should always be combined with collateral interviews and a thorough review of records rather than relying solely on information provided by an alleged offender.

 

The Board acknowledges that the current sex offender assessment and treatment research is limited and sometimes inconsistent. That said, the ATSA standards and ethical codes have been developed with a great deal of input from you, the membership, and are based on the current state of research as well as the consensus of practitioners in the field. We encourage you to continue to participate in ATSA's ongoing development. We also encourage the continued discussion of controversial and ethical issues on the list-serv, and we embrace the philosophical and practical exchange of ideas that lead to professional growth.


 

ATSA FINANCIAL REPORT

Arthur Gordon Ph.D., ATSA Treasurer

 

On behalf of the ATSA Board and the Finance Committee (Grace Davis, Paul Stern), I am pleased to describe our financial results for 2004 and our budget for 2005. I note that the 2004 data are estimates as not all expenses have been received/recorded. Moreover, we will not be audited until February. However, we are confident that the data reported here provide an accurate picture of our financial status.

 

Table 1 summarizes our profit-and-loss position at December 31, 2004. Iíve included similar information for fiscal year 2003 for comparison purposes

 

TABLE 1: Statement of Profit and Loss

For the Years Ended December 31, 2004 and 2003

 

 

 

 

 

2004

 

2003

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

Application fees

$

          8,975

$

         9.900

 

Conference revenue

 

      582,206

 

     481,257

 

Investment income

 

          2,241

 

         2,827

 

Journal income

 

        15,633

 

       10,056

 

Mailing list

 

          8,300

 

         5,080

 

Membership dues

 

      292,261

 

     294,106

 

Miscellaneous

 

             555

 

            480

 

Standards

 

          1,955

 

         4,840

 

Web posting

 

          5,350

 

         4,025

 

 

Total revenues

$

      917,476

$

     812,571

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

Member services

$

      451,007

$

     339,674

 

Conference expenses

 

      414,212    

 

     382,976

 

Management

 

        85,897

 

       72,780

 

 

Total expenses

$

      951,116

$

     795,430

 

Net Profit / (Loss)

 

       (33,640)

 

       17,141

 

As indicated by our deficit, 2004 was a financially challenging year. Our 2004 budget did not anticipate the resignation of our Executive Director so did not provide for the $115,000 required for her departure and replacement. Fortunately, we have always kept a substantial reserve just for this type of unforeseen event. Moreover, thanks to the fiscal restraint shown by the Board and the excellent management skills of John Gruber, our new Executive Director, the size of the deficit represents a significant positive achievement. Now that our staffing has stabilized, we turn to the challenge of rebuilding our reserve and returning to balanced budgets.

 

Despite our fiscal challenges, ATSA continued to expand service to members during 2004. In fact, we directed 48 percent of all expenditures to this end. In addition to maintaining the ever-popular list-serv and memberís web page, work has been completed on the new version of the Adult Standards and Guidelines. These are being printed and will be mailed out shortly. Work has already begun on developing practice standards for adolescent offenders. We cut costs of producing the Forum while publishing four outstanding issues. The Adult Treatment task force has produced a first draft and its final report will follow. In addition, three other task forces (adolescent issues, prevention, review of process to develop the Standards) began their work. Finally, the Albuquerque conference was an outstanding success, offering more hands-on training than ever before. And, thanks to judicious and largely invisible cost savings, the conference produced a record profit of $168,000 which is largely responsible for our smaller than expected deficit.

 

The financial outlook for 2005 looks is positive. The Board recently approved an $873,000 balanced budget. We will continue to reduce expenses by maintaining our focus on electronic communication and operations. The cost of producing the Forum has been further reduced, and we expect to realize savings in printing and postage. Most importantly, our journal, Sexual Abuse, will be published on-line thereby saving more than $30,000 annually. Finally, we are considering a number of initiatives to increase revenue sources; details on these projects will be forthcoming.

 

You may recall that we last increased membership dues in 2002 and committed to freezing them for three years. Given the range of member benefits, ATSA membership remains one of the best values among professional associations. Thanks to the described savings, the Board has decided to maintain dues for 2005 at $140. We remain committed to providing the best possible service while building on our history of fiscal responsibility. We appreciate the trust you have put in the Board and invite your to help us continue to build ATSA. 

 

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