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Juvenile Firesetter Intervention

A program of Community Relations

Juvenile firesetting is a serious problem, regardless of the child's motivation for the fire start. Firesetting can begin at a very early age and may continue into adulthood.

Recognizing juvenile firesetting early, and taking appropriate corrective measures can greatly reduce the risk of future firesetting incidences. Prevention, education and intervention are keys to reducing the problem and a juvenile firesetter program can provide an avenue for all three.

Juvenile firesetter intervention programs identify, evaluate and educate juvenile firesetters and their families, with the hope of preventing any recurrence of firesetting. For the majority of youths, firesetting is a behavioral problem that can be corrected with a combination of education and/or psychological counseling.

The program presented by Scottsdale Fire Department involves three one-hour meetings with the child. The first meeting involves the interview with the child while the parent/caregiver completes paperwork. Homework is assigned. During the second meeting, depending on the developmental level of the child, the intervention specialist discusses with the parent, child burn injuries and how fast fire can get out of control. Homework is again assigned. Choices and consequences are discussed at the third meeting.

This class helps the child understand what happens when a fire is set, including the financial and legal implications.

All homework must be completed by the third class. If the assigments are not completed, a fourth and final meeting is arranged for the homework in order to be released from the program.

If the child was referred by the courts, completion of all portions of the fire education classes are required.

Please contact Lori Schmidt, Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist II, with any questions and to schedule an interview regarding any identified risk, at lschmidt@scottsdaleaz.gov.