Children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Research Review (2014)

Published: 06/06/2014

Author: Hackett S


This review deals with an issue that presents significant challenge to the sector, and yet has not received commensurate national attention or leadership. Official statistics highlight the scale of the problem of children and young people with sexually harmful behaviour. Children and young people account for approximately a quarter of all convictions against victims of all ages (Vizard, 2004) and a third of all sexual abuse coming to the attention of the professional system in the UK (Erooga and Masson, 2006).

The need for a coordinated service response to engage with children and young people as perpetrators as well as victims is clearly illuminated. The stigma and shame surrounding this issue can inhibit how children, young people and families engage with services. Studies show frequently harmful sexual behaviours are one factor in a range of predisposing experiences and vulnerabilities facing these children and young people – such as domestic violence, neglect and poor mental health.

Professional Standards

PQS:KSS - Lead and govern excellent practice | Creating a context for excellent practice | Designing a system to support effective practice | Purposeful and effective social work | Performance management and improvement | Relationships and effective direct work | Abuse and neglect of children | Child and family assessment | The law and the family and youth justice systems | Shaping and influencing the practice system

PCF - Professionalism | Knowledge | Intervention and skills

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