Sexual Offending against Children: Assessment and Treatment of Male Abusers

By Tony Morrison; Marcus Erooga et al. | Go to book overview

2

Context, constraints and considerations for practice

Tony Morrison

Understanding the context in which practice takes place is vital. It enables the practitioner to take proper account of the wide-ranging set of influences which bear upon their ability to be effective, including societal attitudes, legislation and organisational factors. Some, probably the majority, of these influences lie beyond the control of the practitioner, not least the acute resource shortages in health and welfare agencies. Nonetheless, if practitioners do not take such factors into account, intervention and treatment plans may be unrealistic and inappropriate, leading to failure and disillusionment. A particular danger in working with sex offenders is becoming overly responsible at a personal level for the success or failure of work with clients, because of the propensity of sex offenders to project onto others responsibility for their actions and feelings. Arguably the more significant influences in dealing with offenders’ denial are not the individual skills of practitioners, but the impact on offenders of effective co-ordination between the child protection and criminal justice systems.

Whilst there are therefore factors which are beyond the control of the practitioner, there are many other factors to which practitioners working in this field can and should attend. These concern matters of philosophy, values, theoretical orientation, ethics, professional preparation and support. It is not sufficient to understand the research outlined in the previous chapter, or to seek to apply the practical models outlined in the following chapters, without first considering these issues. It is only by doing so that practitioners can properly equip themselves, and help to influence their agency to create conditions in which good practice in a turbulent world can flourish.

It is intended therefore that this chapter will be of use not only to practitioners working with adults or juveniles, but that it may also be a resource document or discussion paper at a managerial level. Many senior managers, whilst acknowledging in general terms the importance of this work, remain, through lack of practice experience, genuinely unclear about

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Sexual Offending against Children: Assessment and Treatment of Male Abusers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • Acknowledgements xvi
  • Introduction xvii
  • Glossary xx
  • 1 - Adult Sex Offenders 1
  • 2 - Context, Constraints and Considerations for Practice 25
  • 3 - Assessment of Sex Offenders 55
  • 4 - Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment of Sex Offenders 80
  • 5 - Groupwork with Men Who Sexually Abuse Children 102
  • 6 - The Management of Sex Offenders in Institutions 129
  • 7 - Adolescent Sexual Abusers 146
  • 8 - Parent, Partner, Protector 178
  • 9 - Where the Professional Meets the Personal 203
  • Conclusion 221
  • Appendix - Appeal Court Guidelines on Sentencing in Cases of Incest 225
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 240
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