Our Mission

Provide evidence-based holistic treatment to:

  • Meet the needs of children and youth with problematic/illegal sexual behavior,
  • Strengthen families, and
  • Make communities safer.

Our Philosophy

We believe that our clients deserve individualized, holistic treatment, delivered by highly qualified, culturally competent professionals. Holistic treatment includes mental, spiritual, and physical health; education; healthy relationships; safety; and the opportunity to heal. Treatment should be evidence-based, trauma informed, and developmentally appropriate.


All referrals include a psychosexual assessment and recommendations for appropriate supervision and treatment intervention. Additionally, the COCP includes the following treatment services:
Diversion: Short-term treatment targeted towards addressing illegal sexual behavior that places a youth at risk of commitment to the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Youth involved in diversion are typically referred by their local juvenile court. However, youth do not have to be adjudicated to be accepted for treatment.
Children with Sexual Behavior Problems: Short-term treatment targeting the elimination of problematic sexual behavior. Children referred for this service are typically 12 years of age or under and do not have involvement with the juvenile court. However, youth over the age of 12 may be referred for this service in certain circumstances when there is no juvenile court involvement.
Transitional and Community Services (Aftercare): Youth who have completed treatment for illegal sexual behavior in a DYS residential placement may be referred to this service, which provides support for youth as they transition back into the community.

Treatment Model

COCP therapists collaborate with referral sources on a regular basis to promote communication and client success. The COCP treatment model is based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Modifications of CBT are used to address problematic/illegal sexual behaviors and trauma, when applicable. Regular caregiver participation is required for most children and youth during the treatment process. Caregiver participation is the strongest indicator of long-term success.

Program Staff

Program oversight is provided by the Youth Services Institute (YSI) Director, in concert with the clinical supervisor who is a licensed independent clinical social worker and is qualified to provide and supervise treatment for youth with illegal sexual behavior.

All clinical treatment services are provided by therapists who have graduate degrees in a mental health-related field and are trained to provide treatment for children and youth with problematic/illegal sexual behavior. In addition, COCP staff receive continuous training on the best practice approaches needed to work with children and youth who have problematic/illegal sexual behavior.

What You Need to Know About Problematic Sexual Behavior

There are many reasons why kids might have sexual behavior problems. It is our job to help children, youth and their families figure out why this occurred and how to keep it from happening again. Most children and youth who finish treatment (85-97%)* do not have future illegal sexual behavior (Caldwell, 2008; Chu & Thomas, 2010, Silovsky & Chaffin, 2006). Children and youth are different from adults. When children and youth have sexual behavior problems, it’s different than when adults commit sexual offenses. Making the wrong decisions about sexual behavior does not make a child or youth a bad person. It means they made a mistake that hurt other people. The best way youth can make amends is to learn about problematic sexual behavior so that they can make better choices and not hurt other people. Hurting other people with sexual behavior is serious and can result in significant trouble. However, being referred to COCP means that others are trying to help.
*Based on the 2016 evaluation of the COCP, less than 3% of youth who complete COCP treatment have a sexual offense after completion.

Counties Served

The Continuum of Care program accepts referrals for aftercare/transitional, diversion, and children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems for services from juvenile courts and community providers in the following Alabama counties: Autauga, Bibb, Chamber, Chilton, Elmore, Fayette, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, and Tuscaloosa.


The COCP program has a downloadable referral form. The completed referral form and required supplemental documentation must be submitted to YSI via email, fax, or postal mail. To submit a referral, or if there are questions regarding the program or referral documentation, contact Angelia Gaddis via Email: ysi@ua.edu, Phone: 205-348-6625, Fax: 205-348-5721, or Postal Mail: Box 870316 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. All referral documentation must be submitted before the case can be assigned to a therapist. Youth will be assessed to determine his/her appropriateness for the program. If accepted, youth will be assigned a therapist and services will be provided for a minimum of one hour per week. Parent participation is required for most youth.

*Due to a record number of recent referrals for assessment and community-based treatment, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop taking referrals for children and youth who are not juvenile court-involved. The Continuum of Care Program is funded by the Alabama Department of Youth Services (ADYS) to allow for the assessment and treatment of youth with illegal sexual behavior. While ADYS has graciously allowed us to assist children and youth who exhibit problematic sexual behavior in order to prevent future court involvement, our priority has always been to assist youth who have been charged with sexual delinquencies in order to divert them from ADYS custody. Therefore, we are currently unable to accept referrals from schools, DHR, and other community members outside the juvenile court system for services funded by ADYS.

This decision does not affect cases in Chilton, Fayette, or Lamar Counties, where services are funded through a Department of Justice grant. Our community partners in these counties can continue to refer clients who are not court-involved.

If our caseload eases and we are once again able to accept other referrals, we will make an announcement via our website: ysi.ua.edu.