Vol. XXVIII, No. 3
Summer 2016
Text Only Version
In This Issue
Regular Features
Editor's Note
President's Message
Are Juvenile Sexual Risk Assessment Instruments Adequate on Their Own to Assess Risk?
Featured Articles
Preventing Clinician Burnout
A Theoretical Framework for Proscribing Pornography Viewing for Those With Sex Offense Convictions
Online Debate 5: Developing a worldly understanding of sexual offenders and their management
Students' Voice
Sexual Deviance and General Criminality Factors Among Adolescent Sex Offenders
3rd Annual ATSA Student Clinical Case and Data Blitz
Book Review
The Trauma Myth
2016 Election
35th ATSA Conference
Awards Announcements
ATSA Chapters: Amplifying ATSAs Footprint in the World
New ATSA Members
Newsletter Tools
Search Past Issues
Print-Friendly Issue
Print-Friendly Article
Forum Team
David Prescott
Book Review Editor

Sarah Gorter
Production Editor

Forum Editor
Contact the editor or submit articles to:

Heather M. Moulden, Ph.D.
Forensic Program
St. Joseph's Healthcare
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
E: hmoulden@stjoes.ca
P: (905) 522-1155 ext. 35539
ATSA Chapters: Amplifying ATSAs Footprint in the World
Robin Goldman, MA, Licensed Psychologist
Tyffani Monford Dent, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist
Lawrence Ellerby, PhD, C. Psych.
ATSA Organization and Development Committee Chairs

ATSA chapters maximize our organization’s impact. Regional forums bring people together to enhance and strengthen individual and community capacities to respond to abuse prevention, treatment and management.  Chapters do this through professional development, dissemination of research, student engagement, professional networking, public education and the promotion of evidence-based practice and policy on the local and regional level.

Several ATSA chapters hold annual conferences, which provide a wonderful opportunity to network and collaborate with local colleagues. Some chapters have held very successful conferences which continue to grow in size and impact.  In the Spring 2016 issue of the Forum, results of the ATSA Research Column survey revealed topics that readers of the Forum wanted to hear more about.  Recommended topics included assessing risk in various sub-groups; treatment for special populations; the effectiveness of alternative treatment approaches for sex offenders; and evidence-based supervision.  ATSA chapter conferences highlight many of these topics and provide an opportunity to bring in internationally recognized speakers. At the same time, chapter conferences showcase local expertise and provide an opportunity for a focus on local concerns, programs, policies and initiatives. 

In addition to the great learning and networking opportunities provided by ATSA chapter conferences, ATSA has partnered with the chapters to invite new members by applying for ATSA membership at reduced cost.  A traveling exhibit packet can be requested by an ATSA chapter for use at their conference and new applicants receive a waiver of the $35 application fee.  Several chapters have taken advantage of this opportunity to grow the number of ATSA members in their region and thereby expand the number of chapter members/potential chapter members as well. 

ATSA has 26 active chapters and its relationship with those chapters is a model called Separate but Affiliated Corporations.  As such, each chapter operates pursuant to an affiliation agreement with ATSA.   Each chapter must establish itself as a non-profit corporation and create a separate, locally elected board of directors that is legally responsible for the activities of the corporation that it governs.  This entails establishing chapter by-laws and following requirements of the affiliation agreement.   Serving on an ATSA chapter Board of Directors provides a great opportunity to help shape the field on a local level, while learning the ropes of governing a non-profit organization. 

Operating a non-profit requires a level of commitment that must be sustained over time.  Chapters that have a large membership often find this easier than those with a small membership, given the time and effort required to establish and sustain a non-profit organization and respond to the needs and interests of its members.  Some states and regions have opted to join forces to expand their member numbers and their reach.  Some chapters have extended chapter membership to ATSA members from adjoining states that do not have an ATSA chapter.  There has even been an interest in the development of ATSA chapters internationally. The Netherlands was the first to establish an ATSA chapter outside of the United States.  The persistent efforts of a small number of ATSA members to establish this chapter were challenged by the requirement that 10 ATSA members must sign on to form a chapter.  ATSA members from the Netherlands joined forces with members from Belgium and now operate an active and growing chapter.  

ATSA members have been creative in finding ways to create the opportunity to develop ATSA chapters, including a number of states working together to create regional chapters. The Mid-Atlantic Region of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (MARATSA) is an example of a successful chapter that includes multiples states and regions. MARATSA’s territory includes the states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania as well as the District of Columbia.  Separated into four areas (Area 1: Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shores, Area 2: Remaining area of Maryland and the District of Columbia, Area 3: Central Pennsylvania and East, Area 4: Central Pennsylvania and West).  Each area has a representative on the MARATSA Board of Directors.

The multi-state concept began when none of the individual states could drum up sufficient commitment or the required number of ATSA members to begin their own chapter.  MARATSA was formally chartered in the spring of 2010, incorporating in the state of Delaware, after several years of networking between professionals within each of the now established areas. This was not without some bumps in the road.  Hurdles faced in forming MARATSA included the large geographical area and the challenge of finding representation in all four areas; motivation and faith that it could be accomplished and would be worth the effort; and the reality that states have different laws for non-profit incorporation.  In spite of the challenges, persistence and determination prevailed and at present, MARATSA has a governing board of directors that includes a president, president-elect, past president, secretary, treasurer and representatives from the four regions.  It operates committees focused on membership, education, public policy, the annual conference and the newsletter.   In addition to regular meetings of the Board of Directors, each of the four areas is responsible for a minimum of four meetings per year within their respective area.  The area meetings offer a “mini-training” and an opportunity to collaborate with others in the field.  Each year the MARATSA annual conference is rotated to a different area.  In the Spring of 2016, MARATSA’s conference hosted nearly 200 attendees. 

The MARATSA chapter reports that they have a positive vibe and look forward to continued growth.  They have a newly reorganized membership committee and are keeping up with the latest technology by updating their website to make it more user friendly.  You can learn more about MARATSA at www.maratsa.org.  According to Mark Flock, MARATSA President-Elect, “In summary, in forming a regional chapter you need a group of dedicated persons that have a common goal and work together to achieve it. Utilize the resources of ATSA in developing the organizations bylaws, taking the risk of starting off with a conference to build some funding to keep the organization going, and always look for new people to get involved so you can hand off what you started so others in the field can continue to benefit.”

Many other ATSA Chapters are doing exciting and impactful things that make a profound difference in the field of sexual abuse prevention. If you live in a state or region that does not have an ATSA chapter and are interested in learning more about how to establish a chapter, visit the ATSA website and look for the ATSA Chapter Formation Guidelines in the Members Only section.  The ATSA Board of Directors Organization and Development Committee Co-Chair, Robin Goldman, and Sarah Gorter, ATSA Office Assistant and Membership Coordinator, are available to provide information and guidance to the chapters and to ATSA members interested in exploring chapter formation.    

National and international organizations and their chapters forge partnerships because they have much to gain from working together.  We are committed to continuing to strengthen and expand the important partnerships between ATSA and its chapters and to support the development of new chapters as we work together to prevent sexual abuse! We invite you to mobilize your community!


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