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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE Guidelines)

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 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


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