Working with Children and Young People Who Have Displayed Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Guidance to support professionals who work with children and young people to identify, prevent and mitigate harm caused by children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour.

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This guidance is intended for practitioners and service leads who work with children, young people and their families and aims to provide a deeper understanding of how to respond to all forms of harmful sexual behaviour displayed by those under the age of 18. It defines what harmful sexual behaviour is, and identifies a continuum of responses to children and young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour.

This continuum ranges from early community-based identification and support with low-risk behaviours, to assessment, intervention and intensive work with those children and young people who present the highest risk behaviours and needs. It also covers services available for children and young people across Scotland, key resources in relation to assessment and interventions and information on suitable services for working with children and young people where sexual behaviour is a concern.

An annex provides more detail and practice examples in relation to responses to behaviour across the continuum.