The National Center for the Study of Theft Behaviors™
Choosing a Best Practices Theft Intervention Program
- To assure the agency's focus is on the client, it should be a not-for-profit organization.
- The agency should not be one which offers a smorgasbord of unrelated services. The axiom, "Jack of all trades, master of none." applies to this standard.
- The person conducting the session should be provided a minimum of 40 hours of training prior to conducting a session. The agency should have a comprehensive training program. Classes based on individual instructor philosophy and/or beliefs are not using best practices and prove ineffective. Watching someone else conduct a session or two should not qualify a person to conduct a session. Conducting a rote session out of a workbook without specialized training does not meet quality standards.
- The session must have specific and consistent goals and objectives. Best practices dictate the use of a cognitive restructuring model - specifically addressing the clients' attitudes, values and beliefs. Goals and objective should focus on these issues.
- There must be measurable outcomes from each session. If the session has merit the client will be able to demonstrate specific competencies at the conclusion of each session.
- Though client discussion and participation is critical, the use of free flowing client discussion should be limited and only be use with a therapeutic purpose.
- All clients should be treated with dignity and respectfully. It is counter therapeutic to alienate and/or belittle clients.
- The best learning environment is done in a "counseling" or "counseling/education" format. The education, lecture or classroom format prepares participants to memorize facts as opposed to "process, assess and relate" to the information being discussed. It is best if the room is set up in a circle.
- The number of session participants should average between 8 and 10. It is not possible to address each person if class size is unlimited or large. If class size is too large one should ask if making money is the agencies priority.
- Services are best provided in person, however online and workbook classes are effective.
- The program should provide specialized follow-up services or referrals if requested by the client.
- Clients should be tested for comprehension of key session issues and on average maintain an 80% retention rate. The client must leave the session with new, useful and applicable information.
- Client successful completion should be measured with high standards.
Program Content Issues
- It is a best practice to have a module/component addressing personal responsibility.
- It is a best practice to have a module/component addressing victim impact and victim empathy.
- It is a best practice to have a module/component which addresses personal character assessment/introspection.
- It is a best practice to have a module/component which addresses relapse prevention.
- It is best practice to demonstrate how all theft (Including businesses, stores, government and insurance companies) lead to a trail with a human victim.
- It is a best practice, when working with children/adolescents, to include parents/family in the treatment.
- It is a best practice to use a cognitive restructuring orientation which focuses on the client's attitudes, values and beliefs.
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