The NC Child Treatment Program (NC CTP) is CCFH’s flagship training program, enrolling hundreds of licensed therapists throughout the state each year to learn and implement evidence-based treatments for child traumatic stress and related diagnosis. This work is funded through an annual appropriation by the General Assembly and overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health (DMH).
In February, DMH made a two-year funding commitment to CCFH that will enable NC CTP to build a new training platform for an evidence-based treatment designed specifically for problematic sexual behavior (PSB).
According to the National Children’s Alliance, 15 to 20 percent of children referred to child advocacy centers nationally are victimized by another minor. The primary concern in such cases is care for the victim. But committing sexual abuse or assault often signals underlying trauma or other threats in a child’s life, and agencies need reliable resources to care for children who exhibit problematic sexual behavior.
At present, there are limited treatment options available in North Carolina designed specifically for PSB. The best options are often adaptations of other trauma-informed models. NC CTP has already been working with developers from the University of Oklahoma on a learning collaborative structure that will bring PSB Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to our state. With the DMH funding, a school-age model will be rolled out in the first year of the project, followed by an adolescent model in the second year.
Eric Harbour is Lead for Child Behavioral Health with the Division of Mental Health.
“We’re excited to help fund this initiative,” he says. “Once this model reaches a statewide scale and there is more access to PSB treatment, we’ll be able to reduce our reliance on restrictive, residential interventions that cost so much more.”