Forensically Sensitive Therapy (FST)

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Scientific Rating:
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Forensically Sensitive Therapy (FST) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Trauma Treatment - Client-Level Interventions (Child & Adolescent), but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Children 3-17 years of age who have experienced sexual abuse trauma

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 17

Brief Description

FST was created in response to the need for a therapy model that can be used effectively with child sexual abuse victims when criminal and civil court cases are actively pending. It is employed at the conclusion of the investigative process, when a decision has been made that sexual abuse is likely to have occurred, the case is being sent forward for prosecution, and the child is exhibiting signs of trauma. The FST model is an ecological approach that uses multiple modalities of intervention, including:

  • Therapy for the child's sexual abuse trauma that includes both the child and non-offending caregiver
  • Specific intervention and support for the non-offending caregiver pertaining to the multiple losses sustained in the aftermath of sexual abuse discovery
  • Interface with the Criminal Justice System and criminal court
  • interface with Child Protective Services and civil courts
  • Interface with schools and other professionals typically involved in child abuse cases

Program Goals:

The overall goal of Forensically Sensitive Therapy (FST) is:

  • Allow children to heal from sexual abuse trauma in a manner that will support the child and family through the process of a criminal prosecution using techniques that are designed to be sensitive to the rigors of criminal prosecution in child sexual abuse cases

Contact Information

Name: Connie Nicholas Carnes, MS, LPC
Agency/Affiliation: Dakotah Landing
Phone: (256) 679-6727

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: December 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2006