Research highlights challenges in responding to harmful sexual behaviour

Research from the National Children’s Bureau has highlighted a lack of confidence in many professionals when dealing with children who are displaying harmful sexual behaviour.  They surveyed over 500 people, including social workers, teachers, mental health workers and carers, and found that although the issue is becoming more common, many felt that they did not have the necessary knowledge and skills for working directly with children displaying harmful sexual behaviour. The research also found that access to some important forms of support and guidance in this area is inconsistent across the workforce.  Many of those surveyed reported difficulties in balancing the needs of a child with the duty to protect other children.

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