Guidance: Addressing harmful sexual behaviours in children and young people

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    Sidrah Ahmad

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have released a guidance on harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people.

    We’ve put together a brief overview of the guidance and what we ought to be doing:

    • The guideline solely focuses on young people who display harmful sexual behaviours.

    • Directly inform the DSL at your organisation if and when a young person displays sexualised behaviours that are unsuitable for their age of developmental stage.

    • Take a multi-agency approach by working members of the community, healthcare professionals, carers supporting looked-after children and the local safeguarding children board. This will enable you to better support young people with difficult and complex requirements. All information shared between agencies must remain confidential and be reviewed every 3-6 months.

    • Aim to find out whether there are any further or underlying vulnerabilities or problems. Has the young person been through any recent trauma? What changes has the young person gone through, if any? Have you looked at the family or friend factors?

    • When working with other agencies, create a structured care plan. This can include school work, specific to the needs of the young person, hobbies and other interests. It is important to remind the young person of their personal identity, relationships, social activities and, religious and cultural beliefs, which will reinforce a sense of belonging.

    • Use treatments resources and therapeutic approaches such as:

    o Assessment Intervention Moving or AIM assessment for children under the age of 12 who have and have not committed an offence
    o AIM2 assessment for boys, girls and those with learning disabilities between the ages of 12-18 within or outside the criminal justice system
    o Cognitive Bevavioural Therapy, which is also useful when treating anxiety and depression
    o Individual, group or family therapy

    • Increase awareness and education within your chosen channels of communication

    Feel free to add further comments and thoughts to the thread.

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