Secondary Trauma and the Supervision of Sex Offenders: A Training Curriculum is offered as one part of CSOM’s comprehensive training package on the effective management of sex offenders in the community. This curriculum defines the experience of secondary trauma and its implications for those professionals who work with sex offenders on a regular basis. Topics covered as part of this training include:
- Understanding secondary trauma and how it is particularly relevant to those of us who work in sex offender management;
- Identifying the signs and symptoms of secondary trauma in ourselves and our colleagues; and
- Learning how to mitigate and address the effects of secondary trauma.
Particular attention is paid to understanding the reasons why sex offender management professionals are particularly susceptible to this type of trauma; steps individual practitioners can take to ward off the effects of secondary trauma, both on the job and in their professional lives; and the ways in which agencies can work to ameliorate the effects of secondary trauma in their employees.
The curriculum is designed to be very interactive, with continuous opportunities for participant input and discussion, so that participants can learn from each other as well as from the information provided by the text and trainer.
Perhaps the most important caution for anyone planning this training is to remember that this is an opportunity for adult learning. Participants bring to trainings extensive knowledge and rich sets of experiences that affect how they process the information that is provided. Therefore, users of the materials in this curriculum should not conduct events with only lectures. Instead, trainers are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the exercises and discussion questions that are provided, as participants take away much more useful and practical information when they have opportunities to engage faculty members and their colleagues in discussions that relate to the material that is presented to their own and their agencies’ work.
Other important issues and cautions relate to the qualifications of trainers, the use of a team training approach that includes a number of disciplines and agencies, and the importance of adapting the curriculum to address the specific needs and questions of the audience.
The User's Guide previews the icons and notations used throughout the curriculum, and introduces a number of training techniques and strategies that may be helpful for trainers.
This curriculum includes an evaluation form that can be used to assess how well the training that is provided using this curriculum achieves its goals. If users modify or tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of their audiences, they are encouraged to adapt the evaluation form they use to reflect the changes they make.
The Center for Sex Offender Management would like to express sincere thanks to Trudy Gregorie, the primary author of this curriculum. CSOM would also like to thank Courtney Pullen for his contributions to an earlier version of this curriculum. We also thank Anne Seymour, Suzanne Tallarico, and Avery Zook for their thoughtful review of the curriculum. Kurt Bumby, Madeline Carter, Leilah Gilligan, Oluwole Okunseinde, Tom Talbot, and Rachel West of the Center for Sex Offender Management were responsible for editing, developing participant materials, and converting the curriculum into CD–ROM and Web–based formats.