Online Solicitation Programme
The Online Solicitation Programme is targeted at men who have used the internet to engage in sexual discussions with children and/or have engaged in discussions about meeting children offline. These conversations include those with adults who have pretended to be children (e.g. activists or covert police officers). Although this behaviour might include possessing some indecent images of children, these images are often acquired from children via online solicitation. The images may therefore be secondary to their principle motive, i.e. online engagement with children (including children that they know offline).
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a UK child protection charity dedicated to protecting children.
Mode and context of delivery
The programme is delivered on a one-to-one basis at an LFF office base (Epsom, Surrey or Bromsgrove, West Midlands), but is likely to be expanded to other areas across England. The programme is not currently facilitated on a group basis, but the expectation is this will occur in the future. Individuals who wish to participate in the Online Solicitation Programme are able to self-refer by contacting the Stop It Now! Helpline (0808 1000 900)
Level/Nature of staff expertise required
The Online Solicitation Programme is currently only being delivered by experienced practitioners employed by LFF. Staff should have a background in working with sexual offending behaviour generally, but specific knowledge of online offending is essential.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The expectation is that individuals will have an initial one-one-one face to face meeting prior to commencing the programme (which will last approximately 60 and 90 minutes). Individuals are expected to provide more detail about their online behaviour, so that the professional can ensure the Online Solicitation Programme is a suitable programme for them. It is desirable but not always possible that the same member of staff that conducts the face to face meeting delivers the programme and subsequent review meetings.
The programme comprises of five two-hour sessions, with the expectation that attendees complete personal work in between sessions. The personal work is determined by the professional. There is the opportunity for additional sessions and post programme review meetings. While the course is running the professional will provide support to the participant where necessary, but additional support can be obtained via the Stop It Now! Helpline.
Description of intervention
The Online Solicitation Programme is primarily educative, focused on online solicitation and grooming behaviours. The programme aims to explore an individual’s offending behaviour in a structured but supportive environment, and using this knowledge, identify strategies they can employ to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.
Group programme content and structure:
- Session 1: Introduction to the session, hopes and fears, control continuum, cognitive behavioural therapy triangle, offence pattern (Finkelhor model) and cycles of behaviour, five stages of grooming
- Session 2: Offence pattern reflecting on important stages in life, grooming typologies, the role of fantasy and positive reinforcement in offending
- Session 3: Online and offline relationships, managing fantasy/addiction, addictive and compulsive behaviours, cyberhex
- Session 4: Victim empathy, Criminal Justice System
- Session 5: Relationships, disclosure, risky behaviours, relapse prevention
The topics can be explored in different orders within reason, and more time can be spent on the most relevant topics to a particular individual. On occasions, a sixth session can be added to provide the opportunity to explore topics further or to ensure all topics are covered sufficiently. Personal work is provided between each session.
Attendees are asked to complete an evaluation question at the end of the programme, regarding their experience of the programme. The programme has only been administered to a few individuals therefore, to date, there is not enough data available to sufficiently analyse findings.
No references available.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation
Address: Nightingale House, 46-48 East Street, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 1HQ
Number: 01372 847 160
Information correct at July 2020