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Family Learning Program (FLP)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the FLP Sexual Abuse Treatment Program?

The Family Learning Program (FLP) Sexual Abuse Treatment Program is an outpatient program offering psychological treatment and support to families who have experienced sexual abuse. Services are offered at no charge for all members of the family including child and adolescent victims, siblings, and non-offending caregivers. FLP is one of only 14 Department of Health sponsored Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs (SATPs) in the state of Florida.

Q: How is FLP SATP supported?

A: The Family Learning Program is sponsored by Florida Tech and is funded entirely by grants from the State of Florida Department of Health, Children's Medical Services and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). The State of Florida had much foresight in funding to help set up the Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs around Florida. We are fortunate to be a part of this mission to provide help to sexually abused children and their families. Without the state funding, Florida Tech could not provide these services.

Q: Where does FLP offer services?

A: Family Learning Program services are offered at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, on the second floor, on the Florida Institute of Technology main campus in Melbourne, Florida.

Q: What kind of services are offered?

A: FLP offers sexual abuse treatment including group, individual, and family therapy as needed. FLP utilizes evidence-based and evidence-supported treatment, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Q: Who provides FLP SATP services?

A: The therapists providing services are all Clinical Doctor of Psychology students and most have Master's degrees. They receive special training in TF-CBT and other evidence-based and evidence-supported sexual abuse treatments.

Q: Tell me more about FLP Sexual Abuse Treatment Program.

A: FLP is the only specialized child sexual abuse treatment program in Brevard County that offers treatment groups for the entire family at no charge and provides a sound, quality program based on the latest research findings. FLP is staffed by Dr. Demara Bennett, Director and clinical supervisor Dr. Sara Howze, and both are licensed psychologists with extensive experience in the specialized area of child sexual abuse.

Q: How can FLP help me?

A: The FLP treatment program can help victims and family members cope with sexual abuse, reducing negative long-term effects. Interventions are tailored based upon age and experience. Please refer to specific group descriptions for Young Children, Pre-Teen, Teen, Sibling, and Non-Offending Caregivers.

Q: What is the history of FLP?

FLP, was founded in 1991 by Juanita N. Baker, Ph.D., of the clinical psychology faculty in FIT's School of Psychology as a treatment program unique to Florida Tech to not only serve members of the community but also to provide ideal training for doctoral psychology students.

Therapists: In the 25 years of the program's existence, hundreds of doctoral psychology students have provided FLP services. Additionally, FLP supports the developing interests of undergraduate interns and volunteers and the Child Advocacy curriculum through shadowing, participating in team meetings and clinical supervision, and assisting with the FLP database.

What is the Family Learning Program Dependency Evaluation Team?

Q: What is the FLP Dependency Evaluation Team?

A: The FLP Dependency Evaluation Team provides neurodevelopmental, psychological and neuropsychological evaluations for children, adolescents and adults when there is 1) risk of child maltreatment and/or out of home placement, 2) current out of home placement in the Dependency system due to verified maltreatment, or 3) a history of out of home placement with current pending adoption (pre-adoptive evaluations).

Q: How do I make a referral to the FLP Dependency Evaluation Team?

A: Referrals are typically made through contracted agencies within the dependency or adoption system. Case-by-case referrals are accepted by non-contracted agencies. To make a referral please call the Family Learning Program at 321-604-5898 and ask to speak with Dr. Mari Bennett, FLP Director.

Q: Where are FLP Dependency Evaluations Provided?

A: Evaluations are provided at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, second floor, on the Florida Institute of Technology main campus in Melbourne, Florida.

Q: What kind of evaluations are offered?

A: Child/Adolescent evaluations often include differential diagnosis of pediatric developmental (autism spectrum, language and other disorders), learning (dyslexia, math, auditory processing, nonverbal learning disorder, etc.), mood (depression, bipolar, anxiety, etc.), behavioral (ADHD, oppositional defiance, conduct, etc.) and trauma (PTSD, reactive attachment, etc.) disorders to assess negative effects of maltreatment and inform treatment, service and placement decisions. Adult evaluations often assess for parent/caregiver mental health and/or substance use concerns and individual strengths influencing parenting of the involved child(ren).

Q: How do Dependency evaluations differ from private evaluations? How will the results be used?

A: Unlike private psychological evaluations, dependency evaluations are typically court-ordered and part of the parent/caregiver's Dependency Case Plan. Referring agencies maintain sole rights to the evaluation results, including the final report, and control how those results may be distributed and used within the context of the dependency court process.

Q: Who provides FLP Dependency Evaluations?

A: The FLP Dependency Evaluation Team is managed by Dr. Mari Bennett, Licensed Psychologist, Director - Family Learning Program. Evaluations are provided by Dr. Aaron Privett, Licensed Psychologist, and by advanced doctoral clinicians under the supervision of Dr. Privett. Dr. Bennett and Dr. Privett have extensive experience providing pediatric, including dependency and pre-adoptive, evaluations and doctoral clinicians receive specialized training in these evaluations.

Civil Rights Statement: In accordance with federal law, U.S. Department of Justice policy, and ethical guidelines, the Family Learning Program does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status.