Arson Awareness Week

Successful Intervention Programs Next: Resources for Youth Firesetter Intervention Specialists »

This page may contain links to non-U.S. government websites. What this means to you »

Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department

Youth identified as exploring with matches and lighters, experimenting with fire, or lighting fires to vent anger or frustration may benefit from the Champaign Fire Department's (CFD's) Youth Fire Intervention Program.

A Champaign Fire Department juvenile firesetter specialist working with a young boy.

Champaign Fire Department's trained and caring youth fire experts aid children, parents, and caretakers with timely screening and education.

CFD's Youth Fire Intervention Unit provides age-appropriate intervention and fire safety education to youth and caretakers when a child appears unusually interested in fire and/or exhibits unsafe fire behaviors. CFD's trained and caring youth fire experts aid children, parents, and caretakers with timely screening and education. Referrals to the program often come from parents, teachers, administrators, youth services counselors, police or juvenile justice officers.

Last year, CFD's Youth Fire Intervention Program, which has been in existence for nearly 3 decades, underwent an extensive review of strategic plans to include updating partnerships with new contacts including local and county mental health-care providers, school discipline deans, and local, county, and State juvenile officers. Awareness training was provided for members of the CFD's Investigation Unit along with the revision of departmental standard operating guidelines (SOGs).

The coalition building and community education components continue with a media campaign to be rolled out in the fall of 2012. With a firm foundation of resource and information about the program out in the community, Champaign's Youth Fire Intervention Unit is prepared for an upswing in identified youth needing such services. Last year, the team provided screening and education to seven youth and caretakers with two referrals to Champaign County's mental health-care providers. Data in early 2000 showed an annual average of 30 youth receiving intervention services.

Youth identified as exploring with matches and lighters, experimenting with fire, or lighting fires to vent anger or frustration will benefit from CFD's Youth Fire Intervention Program.