Research-to-Practice papers are research summaries of specific issues related to child abuse. The research-to-practice papers are prepared by SRCAC staff who review the relevant research on a timely topic, write a summary, and suggest ways to apply this research to daily practice.
Jerri Sites, Training Specialist at SRCAC, and Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., the Freestanding Multidisciplinary Teams Programs Manager at OK Commission on Children and Youth, co-authored the newly released publication “Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior: Recommendations for the MDT and CAC Process.” The concept of this paper came from the expressed need for a more formal response to reports of children with problematic sexual behaviors (PSB). The peer reviewed paper provides research-based information and links to resources for child abuse professionals to increase their knowledge and develop a plan for intervention in these often difficult and sensitive cases.
Recantation is fairly common in cases of child sexual abuse. With rates in most recent studies ranging from 23%-27%, MDTs can anticipate 1 in 4 children with confirmed cases of child sexual abuse will recant at some point during the criminal justice process. Results of recantation are rarely positive, often ending in cases being closed, alleged offenders resuming contact with their victims, the possibility of continued victimization of children, and their inability to heal.
This paper, prepared by SRCAC Regional Training Specialist Jerri Sites, outlines research from the past decade related to children’s disclosure of abuse, caregiver support, and recantation. The research identifies risk factors for recantation and the need for increased support and education to caregivers. With advancements in the CAC model, improving advocacy and trauma-focused mental health services, and an understanding of this research as it relates to practice, MDTs can implement steps in their response to reduce the risk of recantation, and address the issue as a team when it does occur. Implications for practice and a sample protocol are provided as a guide for MDTs and CACs with an interest in revising their current practice.
Jerri Sites, MA has over 25 years’ experience working in the child abuse investigation field. She has conducted over 2,100 forensic interviews and has provided expert witness testimony in numerous child sexual abuse cases.
Jerri Sites, Regional Training Specialist of SRCAC, collaborated with Eddie Chase, Senior Attorney for the Child Abuse Prosecution Project of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), to write The MDT Approach to the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse Cases Involving Recantation. This monograph expands on Jerri’s Research to Practice paper, which focuses on reducing the potential for recantation.
The monograph shares additional research-based information related to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases in which children recant. By including case scenarios to illustrate the system’s response to recantation and the MDT’s effort to prevent recantation from occurring, the authors paint a picture of the difficulty child abuse professionals can face, as well as the successes they can share when working together as a team.