|The Clinical Practice Corner: Juvenile Practice|
The juvenile practice and adult practice committees will
begin a new “clinical practice corner” feature in each issue of the Forum, with
contents that will vary from issue to issue, ranging from updates on each
committee and its activities, highlights of relevant ATSA initiatives that have
implications for or influence clinical practice, and other content relevant to
contemporary clinical practice, and also help ensure good communication between
the practice committees and ATSA membership. It is likely that the clinical
practice corner will alternate between the adult and juvenile practice
committees each issue, with the exception of this issue of the Forum in which both
practice committees describe a little of what we’re doing as standing (i.e.,
permanent) ATSA committees, and what we see ahead. For the juvenile practice
committee, this first clinical corner also serves as a bit of an introduction
as the juvenile committee is relatively new and just beginning to take shape
and develop the foundation for what we hope
will be an effective and valuable committee moving forward, in both
representing the ATSA Executive Board and ATSA membership who work with
children and adolescents.
A Brief Introduction
to the Juvenile Practice Committee
The Juvenile Practice Committee (JPC) was formed in early
2017, and to some degree was built on the foundation of the task-focused and
time-limited committee that was formed to develop the first Adolescent Practice Guidelines, which
were released by ATSA in 2017. As that committee disbanded, having completed
its task, the juvenile practice committee was formed, standing on the shoulders
of the adolescent guidelines committee. The juvenile practice committee is
chaired by Phil Rich, the Juvenile Practice Representative on the ATSA Board,
and upon inception and today is a relatively large committee, with 15 members,
listed here in first name alphabetical order, including two international
members (outside of North America, that is): Anette Birgersson (Sweden), Chris
Lobanov-Rostovsky, David Prescott, Janet DiGiorgio-Miller, Jim Worling, Kevin
Creeden, Kevin Powell, Lori Robinson, Michael Caldwell, Michelle Gourley, Phil
Rich, Russ Pratt (Australia), Tanya Snyder, Tom Leversee, and Tyffani Dent.
Much of the initial work of the committee was to decide what
to do as a committee and how to proceed, including the most effective and efficient
way to work as committee. It soon became clear that the work of this large
committee would be most effectively conducted and managed through four
subcommittees: adolescent guidelines,best practices material and resources,external partnerships, and in-reach and membership liaison. These allow
more focused work and are each smaller in size than the full committee, and
also allow for additional subcommittee members who are not themselves members
of the JPC. There is certainly crossover between and interaction among
subcommittees, and several JPC members are on more than one subcommittee.
The Four Subcommittees
Each of the subcommittees is focused on fulfilling tasks
identified in the ATSA strategic plan, as well as developing additional tasks
that we hope will enhance practice. The adolescent
guidelines subcommittee focuses on ensuring that the adolescent practice
guidelines remain dynamic and incorporate new and relevant research and best practices
material into the next revision of the guidelines, as well as working toward
disseminating the practice guidelines. As an early task, the subcommittee has
developed a set of key readings that is intended to supplement the current
adolescent practice guidelines, and this will be made available through the
ATSA website in the near future. The subcommittee is also working to develop a
template of sorts for those wishing to provide training in the use of the
adolescent practice guidelines.
The best practices subcommittee
is developing fact and information sheets to reflect and enhance clinical best
practices, and is in the process of developing several of these at the moment.
Once completed, these will be further reviewed by the full JPC, and then the
ATSA Board before being placed onto the ATSA website. We see this process as
ongoing, with a goal of building an inventory of contemporary practice fact and
informational sheets aimed primarily at professionals, but also useful to the
general public. The external partnership
subcommittee is focused on identifying and building partnerships, quite
possibly on an ad hoc or informal basis, whereas more enduring and formal
partnerships remain in the domain of the full Board and ATSA administration.
Finally, the in-reach
subcommittee has the goal of outreach within ATSA (hence the name of the
subcommittee). This subcommittee developed the recent membership survey
(described below) and is focused on ensuring strong communication between the
JPC and ATSA membership. Additionally, the subcommittee is working to develop a
set of juvenile practice webpages embedded within the ATSA website that will
provide links to juvenile practice materials and information, as well as a
contact page for members who wish to contact the juvenile practice
Other Committee Work
We’ve formed a small working group to review ATSA’s 2006 Report of the Task Force on Children with
Sexual Behavior Problems, with the goal of revising or updating the report
if necessary. In addition, the JPC has just begun working on a cross collaborative initiative
with the Public Policy Committee on juvenile sex offender registration.
As many will know, the juvenile practice committee (through
the in-reach subcommittee) recently asked the ATSA membership to complete a
brief survey. We received 369 responses, which represents about 12 percent of ATSA membership - so
thank you very much! Four survey multiple-choice questions were asked, each of
which additionally provided an opportunity to enter comments, although these
were limited in length. A fifth “open” question, allowed for additional general
comments, also with a limitation in length.
Question one asked how
membership envisioned the role/purpose of the juvenile practice committee.
Among the responses, most felt that they wanted the JPC to keep membership
updated about ATSA policies, papers, and resources; preparing and making
available best practices materials and resources; disseminating the adolescent
practice guidelines and keeping these updated and dynamic; and periodically
pointing to significant articles addressing juvenile practice.
With respect to question
two, asking how the JPC can be of greatest value, the most common response
was to notify membership about resources or matters that influence juvenile
practice, and secondarily providing periodic updates about what the juvenile
practice committee is up to.
Question three asked how the JPC can
best communicate with membership. Most
responses suggested a website
presence within the ATSA website and a regular spot in the Forum.
Question four asked about frequency
of JPC communication to membership in general, and the most common response was
quarterly or more frequently if there is something specific to communicate.
The final question,question five, was actually not a question at all, but instead provided
an opportunity for thoughts or comments (limited in length), and provided a
range of responses.
Of course, the
survey results, including comments, are too detailed to include here, but this link will take you to a
more detailed summary that will give a clearer sense of responses. Happily, as
I hope this brief article describes, the JPC is already engaged in or on the
way to engaging in many of the activities and initiatives described in survey
Meet Us at the 2018 Annual Conference
practice committee held a “meet-and-greet” at the 2016 ATSA conference, and
we’ll be doing this again at this year’s conference in Vancouver. If you’re
attending the conference (and we hope you are), mark your calendars to join us
on Thursday, October 18 from 5-6 pm. We’ll begin with a 10-15 minute
overview of the committee’s work and goals, and then be available to answer
questions, meet conference participants, and build contacts and connections.
looks excellent and has plenty of offerings for those working with young
people. A glance at the conference brochure shows at least 16 pre-conference seminars
focused on work with youth, including those applicable to adults or youth, and
at least 57 conference workshop sessions on Thursday and Friday aimed at
youth work or work with adults and
youth. Hope to see you there!
We don’t yet have a contact page set up on the ATSA website,
but if you have any questions about the juvenile practice committee feel free
to contact the committee chair, Phil Rich: email@example.com.