Juvenile Firesetting Intervention
Children start fires for many reasons, depending on their age and motivations. It's important to understand why children are starting fires if we are to address the problem and stop the behavior.
It's important to understand that 99% of juvenile firesetting is a behavior, and not a psycholgically driven-need as has been portrayed by some in the past. The vast majority of juvenile firesetting can be stopped by either education, or a combination of education, consueling and family problem solving.
The primary motivation in children under the age of 5 is simple curiousity. Children at this age simply want to understand how fire works and they are curious about the color, texture and other physical charecteristics. The fires they start are not meant to damage, but simply to explore. Generally a "bad fire" event, combined with education, will end thier fireplay.
Older children, especially those who live in dysfunctional home situations, often start fires to express distress regarding thier situations. Motivations may include home problems, social problems, school or academic problems, new children in the home, relocation or many other life problems that they are unable to come to terms with. Until these problems are solved, or at a minimum addressed, the firesetting will continue.
Bossier Parish Fire District 1 offers Fireplay and Firesetting Intervention programs that begin with nationally recognized assessments to determine firesetting motivations. The program focuses on education, discussing concequences and the development of problem-solving skills, in coodination with both child and family consueling where indicated. Please call us for additional information if your beleive your child may be playing with fire or has started a fire in your home.