Adapting the Curriculum

This curriculum is intended for adaptation by users and can be amended to reflect the following considerations.

The Audience

This material was developed for use by a multi–disciplinary audience. The material is particularly relevant for line supervision agency staff, treatment providers, victim advocates, and other members of collaborative interagency teams who are involved in sex offender management. Users are encouraged to adapt the materials to provide more detail for some audiences and less for others based on their questions and substantive needs.

The Time Available for Training

This curriculum has been developed for use in a 2 ½ hour time period, but trainers should feel free to adapt the length as needed in their particular jurisdiction.

The Number of Participants and the Importance of Audience Interaction

Much of the curriculum can be delivered in lecture style, supplemented by learning activities and discussions. It is strongly recommended, regardless of the audience size, that trainers make plans for substantial discussions and substantive exchanges among small groups of participants. This curriculum reflects an exercise in adult learning and users should assume that the experiences and knowledge bases of the participants will be a valuable part of their training experiences. Disagreements, debates, and supporting examples of individuals’ own experiences are likely to emerge, and small groups (of 25 people or less, if possible) provide an appropriate setting to processes audience members’ reactions to the material that is presented. Each group should have a skilled trainer or facilitator assigned to manage it.

Local Environment

It was not possible to develop a curriculum that reflects sex offender management practices in all jurisdictions across the nation. Much of what is offered may be relatively new and may not comport with available resources or expertise. Trainers should be prepared to speak to the current practices and available resources in their respective jurisdictions.

Varying Knowledge Levels of Participants

One of the important lessons CSOM has learned in delivering training in a variety of settings and jurisdictions is that often the participants represent a wide spectrum of experience and knowledge about sex offenders and issues related to their management. Some participants may be new probation or parole officers who have never supervised a case load. Others may be seasoned specialized officers who possess extensive experience working with sex offenders and collaborating with treatment providers, victim advocates, and others. It is suggested that users make every effort to ensure that the training is as meaningful and relevant to their audiences as possible. For example, trainers may want to survey participants well in advance of the session they conduct to develop a clear sense of their experience and questions regarding secondary trauma.

Consideration of Victims

The presence of a victim advocate or a treatment provider who is skilled at working with victims is a particularly important aspect of a training team. Users should be prepared for the fact that there may be survivors of sexual abuse in the audience, and that they may have strong reactions to the material that is presented. It is important for trainers to be prepared to validate and support the survivors of sexual assault in the context of the training, and to identify resources (such as local sexual assault crisis services or victim advocacy organizations) to whom participants can be referred, if they need or want further assistance.

Adult Learning

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 and as stressed earlier, users of the materials in this curriculum should not plan 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 the material that is presented to their own and their agencies’ work.

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