This guideline covers children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour, including those on remand or serving community or custodial sentences. It aims to ensure these problems don’t escalate and possibly lead to them being charged with a sexual offence. It also aims to ensure no-one is unnecessarily referred to specialist services.
‘Young people’ refers mainly to those aged 10 to 18 but also includes people up to 25 with special educational needs or a disability.
This guideline does not discuss people who have experienced sexual abuse. NICE has published a guideline on child abuse and neglect.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- multi-agency approach and universal services
- early help assessment
- risk assessment for children and young people referred to harmful sexual behaviour services
- engaging with families and carers before an intervention begins
- developing and managing a care plan for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviour
- developing interventions for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviour
- supporting a return to the community for 'accommodated' children and young people
Who is it for?
- Social workers, social and residential care practitioners and foster carers
- Child and adolescent harmful sexual behaviour and mental health services
- Neighbourhood and community support police officers and youth offending teams
- Schools and youth services
- National adolescent forensic services
- Primary care, sexual health, drug and alcohol services
- People who exhibit harmful sexual behaviour, their families and other members of the public
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.