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Youth Firesetter Intervention Reboot

Youth Firesetter Intervention Reboot

The Cushman Foundation Awards $75,000 Grant to Launch Youth Firesetter Intervention and Prevention Program

This year, The Cushman Foundation created an initiative, Making a Difference for San Diego, to impact worthy organizations throughout San Diego County. The intention was to provide funding to elevate or create new programs that truly make a difference in the San Diego community. The Cushman Foundation was pleased to award $1.2 million to 15 deserving organizations.

The Burn Institute was awarded a $75,000 grant to kick-start the Youth Firesetter Intervention and Prevention Program (YFS). Designed to act as a central service for community partners such as the courts, fire service, law enforcement and schools, the Burn Institute will take referrals of youth ages 5 to 17 who have been caught engaging in firesetting activities and evaluate their risk level. YFS will provide assessment, intervention, education and mental health referrals to prevent future firesetting behavior.

Youth firesetting has been an on-going problem throughout the nation for years. According to NFPA, fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 49,300 fires with associated losses of 800 civilian deaths and 860 civilian injuries per year between 2007 and 2011. Currently, there is no other organization that provides assessment, intervention and prevention for youth firesetting in San Diego County. The Burn Institute is eager to launch this important program and provide this valuable resource to the community. Thanks to the support of the Cushman Foundation, the organization will be working with local fire agencies, as well as city and county partners, to effectively develop and implement the Youth Firesetter and Intervention Program by the end of 2018.