Juvenile Fire Intervention

Otsego County
Juvenile Fire Intervention Program
But Will It Fly???

Suddenly there were children! In 1992 we had four; in 1993 we had thirteen; in 1994 there were suddenly thirty-six; by 1995 there were fifty-five children entered into the program finally in 1996 we saw our first reduction, there were thirty-six children. Children with amazing problems. In these five years, we have had two children with over $1 million in damages each. We have many children with dramatic problems. Physical abuse and sexual abuse are prominent. We have had two children who have required institutional residency. Many times the problems are not identified, the families don't open up, or the family moves to another area out of our jurisdiction. However, for the most part the families remain within our area and receive the whole program.

We have had 18 children who have been involved in repeat incidents. Most of these have been more than twice the length of time between their last two incidents (prior to program referral). This would indicate that the program was responsible for the reduction of fire activity, but that the problem effecting the child is not being addressed, or the program is not effective on the particular child. In either case, the child is at least being tracked, and the fire play activity is being recorded and addressed. Obviously, no system or program will be effective in every instance.

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