JFIP Mission Statement
"To provide the youth of our communities, and their families, a fire safe environment, be it in the home, the school, or wherever they pursue their varied interests, through identification, education, and referrals, in an effort to deter future firesetting among our youth."
Danger Signals for Juvenile Firesetters:
- Playing with Fire / Previous Fire Play
- Acts Before Thinking of Consequences
- Conduct Problems
- Lack of Social Skills / Loner
- Fascination with Fire / Stares
- Setting Fires in and Around the Home
- Learning and Behavior Problems
- Extreme Mood Swings / Violence
- Have Friends That Play with Fire
- Compulsive Lying
- Easily Led by Others / Follower
- Bulling Others / Victims of Bullying
Motives for Juvenile Firesetting:
- To Create Excitement / Bored
- Revenge Against Siblings or Peer
- Coercion by a Sibling / Peer / Friend
- Response to a Fantasy
- Call Attention to a Problem / Cry for Help
- Revenge Against Parent / Guardian
- Response to a Family Problem
- Response to a Media Influence
Educational Intervention Program Topics:
- General Fire Safety
- Consequences of Fire Play
- Hurting Themselves and Others
- A High Price to Pay (Legal/Financial)
- Media Influence
- Media Portrayal of Fire vs. Reality of Fire
- Good Choices vs. Bad Choices
- Peer Pressure Influence
"Our children may only be 25% of our population, but they are 100% of our future"
Many people think that firesetting is a phase children will outgrow. Firesetting is not a phase. If a child is not taught fire safety, the firesetting behaviors can get out of control very quickly and lead to severe injuries. Others believe that it is normal for children to play with fire. This is not true. Curiosity about fire is normal. However, the use of fire without an adult's knowledge, approval, and/or supervision is an extremely dangerous behavior.
Because Delaware is a small state, our office takes pride in being the only state in which a Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program (JFIP) is administered to the entire state through one agency. This includes the four municipalities of Wilmington, New Castle, Newark, and Dover.
When a child is referred to our program, our trained staff interviews and educates the child. In most cases, these interviews take place in the client's home with his/her primary caregiver present, at a time most convenient to the family. After the interview, recommendations are made to the child's caregiver as to the appropriate service or combination of services indicated. Any assistance with these referrals is provided upon the family's request.
The program is strictly confidential and the information obtained from the interview cannot be shared with anyone without the written consent of the caregiver.
To refer a child please use our Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program Referral Form.
Rebekah L. Legar, MS
Senior Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Coordinator
Kent & Sussex County
Brian K. Ferguson
Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Coordinator
New Castle County
Call Toll Free: 1-800-432-8500
Serving Ages 3-17
For more information refer to our Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program Brochure