Research Project Information Sheet
Best-practice approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration of females who have perpetrated child sexual abuse: An international study investigating professionals’ perceptions of ‘what works’.
Ethics Approval Number: S211536
Research Team Contact Details
The research team consists of:
➢ Chief Investigator/Principal Supervisor: Dr Nadine McKillop
➢ Investigator/Co-Supervisor: Dr Lara Christensen
➢ Investigator/Co-Supervisor: Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh
➢ PhD Student Researcher: Mrs. Bricklyn Priebe
Please direct questions to:
Dr Nadine McKillop
Telephone: +61 7 5654 3536
PhD Student Researcher:
Mrs Bricklyn Priebe
Telephone: +61 417 245 148
The purpose of this research is to attain your perceptions as a professional working in a capacity (either directly or indirectly) to provide rehabilitation and reintegrative services to females who have perpetrated, or are at risk of engaging in, harmful sexual behaviours involving children. In doing so, the goal of this research is to help fill knowledge and practice gaps on the management and treatment of females known to have perpetrated sexual offences against children. It will investigate:
➢ To what extent gender-specific rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives are provided in community and correctional settings for females who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours involving children across Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand and what comprises these initiatives;
➢ Professionals’ perceptions regarding the need for tailored initiatives (i.e., whether tailored programs for females who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours involving children are even required, and/or should be integrated or implemented separately to existing rehabilitation/reintegration initiatives to reduce recidivism); and
➢ Professionals’ perspectives regarding ‘what works’ and what the core elements of effective correctional programming/reintegration for females who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours involving children would target.
The primary aim is to identify the characteristics of efficacious treatment/reintegration, with the hope that this will help to ensure treatment integrity and produce a greater understanding of how therapeutic measures can be improved for this offender group globally. By extension, it is the expectation that improved approaches to treatment/reintegration will help to prevent future abuse of children, as well minimise general recidivism of this offender group.
➢ If you are currently employed in a capacity to provide and/or design rehabilitation or reintegration services to female offenders, are over the age of 18, and have English-language proficiency, your participation in this research project would be highly valued.
*It is not necessary for participants to have had direct experience with either the rehabilitation or reintegration of females who have perpetrated child sexual offences, as only your perceptions are sought for this research.
Your participation is voluntary. Your participation, or choice not to participate, will not affect your relationship with USC, members of the research team, or your employer.
If you agree to participate in this research project, you will be invited to do one or both of the following: an online questionnaire and/or an interview. Please see details below.
Participants that have completed the questionnaire, and who are also willing to partake in an interview to expand on their perceptions of current and future approaches to treatment/reintegration of females who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours involving children, will indicate this through a tick-box at the end of the questionnaire. They will then be redirected to a secure link to provide their email address (required) and name (optional) to arrange an interview time. This approach will ensure the anonymity of participant responses provided during the questionnaire component of the study. While participation in the online questionnaire is greatly appreciated, it is also possible for participants to only take part in the interview component of this research. If this is your preference, please contact the Student Researcher (Bricklyn Priebe) directly via email and please include a copy of the written consent form (attached).
Survey: Consent is indicated via a tick-box within the questionnaire. Consent is for data and information to be collected in a semi-identifiable format (no personal identifiers), securely stored in a re-identifiable format, and used in analysis and publications in a strictly non-identifiable format. Consent is sought for data to be used within this project and for related, ethics approved, projects that may be undertaken by this research team only.
Interview: You will be asked to provide written consent before participating in the interview by signing the consent form provided. The research team will only be able to identify you if you choose to participate (name optional, but email address is required). This is for the purpose of scheduling and conducting the interview. Consent is for information to be collected in an identifiable format, securely stored in a re-identifiable format, and used in analysis and publications in a strictly non-identifiable format. Consent is sought for data to be used within this project and for related, ethics approved, projects that may be undertaken by this research team only.
Risks and Benefits
There are minimal/significant risks associated with your participation, which may include consideration of sensitive topics (ie. female-perpetrated child sexual abuse) and personal opinions about current program delivery provided in your place of employment. However, these risks are mitigated as participants – and their place of employment – will not be identifiable in any write up of the results.
At the end of the questionnaire, individuals that consent to participation in an interview (via a tick-box), will then be redirected to a secure link to provide their email address (required) and name (optional). These details are needed so that the Student Researcher (Bricklyn Priebe) can make contact to arrange a time for the interview to take place. However, all personal identifiers will be removed in any write-up of results.
Sometimes thinking about the themes discussed in the interview can create uncomfortable or distressing feelings. The focus of the research is on your perceptions of approaches involving the rehabilitation/reintegration of females who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours involving children; the discussion will not involve disclosure of the offending details of any particular cases. You are not required to answer any questions you don’t want to, and you may discontinue or pause the interview at any time if required. However, if you need to talk to someone you may wish to contact family or friends/your General Practitioner/your Employee Assistance Program/Lifeline (131114) (Australia only)/Beyond Blue (1300 224 636) (Australia only), or visit the United for Global Mental Health website (https://unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support) to access assistance.
It is not anticipated that this research project will directly benefit you but we greatly appreciate your input as a contribution to the field of correctional theory, offender treatment, and rehabilitation.
Privacy, Confidentiality and Results
Any data collected as a part of this research project will be stored securely as per USC’s Research Data Management Procedures. All comments and responses will be treated confidentially unless required by law.
The research team will be able to identify if you choose to participate. Data/transcriptions/recordings will be de-identified, but safely stored in a re-identifiable format in a secure location.
The research team, and a professional transcribing service, will be the only individuals who will have access to the original/identifiable documents. Participation status or individual comments will not be shared with any other entity – your confidentiality is paramount.
For individuals that consent to participate in the interview component of this research, an audio-recording will be made. This recording will be transcribed to ensure accuracy of data collection. Participants that are involved in the interview will be able to:
- Review/approve the transcript to verify their comments
- End the interview/withdraw from the research at any time
Interviewees may request access to the transcript of their interview (returned in a de-identified format) and will have up to two-weeks after receipt of the file to review its contents and request amendments. After this period, if the research team do not hear from the interviewee, they will consider the interviewee is satisfied and the data will be treated as ready for analysis. If desired, this request should be made to the Student Researcher (Bricklyn Priebe) via email.
The results of this research project may be presented at external or internal conferences or meetings, and within publications. If you would like a summary of findings of this research project, or would like access to the final publications, please contact the Student Researcher (Bricklyn Priebe).
Concerns or Complaints
If you have any concerns or complaints about the way this research project is being conducted, you can raise them with the Chief Investigator (Dr Nadine McKillop). If you prefer an independent person, you may contact the Chair of the USC Human Research Ethics Committee: (c/- Office of Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558; telephone (07) 5430 2823; email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please click here to access the survey, or alternatively use the QR code below: