Creating and maintaining a successful youth firesetting prevention and intervention program requires continuous learning. Regardless of your expertise level, there is always opportunity to increase understanding and implement new strategies.
Changing a youth’s firesetting behavior requires a multi-disciplinary approach. While the fire service is the leader in fire prevention education programs, youth firesetting prevention and intervention requires a team of experts. A successful program requires a network of these stakeholders to advocate for youth.
More training for specialists is always available. Learn more in the training section of our website.
This online presentation will help you start building your youth fire intervention program.
If you have an idea for a training session or conference at which Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention information would be appropriate, call 651-201-7220. Get the latest information on youth firesetting prevention and intervention in Minnesota by signing up for the YFPI e-newsletter. Contact Kathi Osmonson to get on the list.
Help is Available
Crisis contact information
Does you know a child who needs immediate mental health resources? The Minnesota Department of Human Services has crisis contact information online.
If you need assistance with a child suffering from mental health disorders or would like to find an appropriate therapist for them, email our mental health consultant
Jerrod Brown or call 651-734-5517
These forms are available to help you manage YFPI cases.
When you first meet with the family, have the caretaker sign the release form that protects the child as a juvenile. The form also advises the parent that we do not guarantee that going through the program will stop the child’s behavior.
The intake form should be filled out at your first encounter with the family.
We are currently using the Oregon assessment tool. If you need a copy of the tool, please complete the user agreement and return it to Kathi Osmonson and she will send you an electronic copy of the tool.
When the interview is completed you can give the child a pre-test. There are three different levels of tests:
If the child is younger, you may want to have them sign the promise certificate.
If you need to contact other serine providers for the child then have the guardian sign the release of confidential information.
After the assessment you can use this form to help determine your intervention strategy.
It is a good idea to write your narrative summary using this form soon after the assessment.
Please document your interventions in YFIRES. If you need assistance, contact Kathi.
Follow-up is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of our programs. Here is the follow-up questionnaire.
Teams and Data
YFIRES National Database
Collecting data regarding the extent of our national youth firesetting problem has been difficult. But now a
free program -- the Youth Fire Intervention Repository and Evaluation System (YFIRES) -- lets you add specific and relevant information on all case management aspects of youth you are working with.
Participation in this program is essential to accurately gather real data to reveal the full extent of our national youth firesetting problem. You can learn more at www.yfires.com. To participate in this program, please email Kathi Osmonson and she can set you up as a program user.
Youth Firesetting Intervention Teams (YFIT)
This program is supported by the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs
Association and is similar to their Fire
Assistance and Support Team
You can find the YFIT protocol here
The Youth Fire Intervention Team is ready to help -- all you need to do is call the duty officer to activate the team. This map
shows the team coordinators in your area. If you are interested in joining this important team, please contact Kathi Osmonson
Online Education and Information
are available from SOS Fires -- a non-profit organization which
develops and supports a wide range of intervention, communication, and
training for service providers of fire involved youth -- about youth-set
Articles and Newsletters
Articles by Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division staff and other
experts as well as our Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention
newsletter are available here
will help you understand the relationship between youth firesetting and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Wise Up -- The Choice is Yours
This is a great intervention tool to use with older firesetters. Topics include fire science, consequences of firesetting, burn prevention and escape planning. Kids ages 12-17 will enjoy learning with this tool. If you would like copies, please email Kathi Osmonson
. The Minnesota Model DVD
The latest version of the Minnesota Model DVD is available.
This is a comprehensive collection of administrative forms, assessment tools to start off each intervention, curricula for younger kids, and a Powerpoint with embedded videos for the older kids. The model also includes intervention activities to keep your interventions interactive and effective. Please make sure you have the latest version by emailing Kathi Osmonson
. Michigan Toolkit
This firesetting intervention toolkit
is made available from the Michigan Trauma Burn Center.
This two-hour free webinar presented by Jerrod Brown discusses youth firesetting clinical and forensic considerations.
For more activities and ideas, go to our useful links page. You can find it in the gray box on the left side of this page.