Sexualised Harmful Behaviour
The vision was for Bridgelea to form multi-agency working partnerships with the AIM Project, Health and Children’s Services to enhance and develop a provision to match appropriate agencies and to support pupils who display harmful sexual behaviour. The model is offered to mainstream schools as part of the Bridgelea Outreach Support to enable children who displays these behaviours to continue to access mainstream education in a safe and controlled way. We provide support to mainstream schools with completing Risk Assessments and Planning in a person centred way and contribute to introducing a package of support from multi-agency partners.
The benefits of introducing a Therapist and Teaching Assistants who specialize in children who display harmful sexual behaviour ensures that we are able to provide targeted and personalized interventions and direct support to allow the children to work through their harmful behaviours and consequently understand how to form positive and appropriate relationships with peers and adults.
A number of factors indicate a higher risk that young people with harmful sexual behaviours will go on to perpetrate sexual abuse in adulthood and for this reason it is preferable that appropriate assessments are carried out on young people to target resources at those most likely to present the highest risk. Cognitive behavioural interventions and relapse prevention work are effective alongside increasing resilience factors and reducing negative factors in a young person’s life.
Bridgelea have staff who have been trained in AIM Under 12’s and Technology Assistant HSB (TA-HSB) and we are able to evidence the Assessment, Intervention and Moving On approach to demonstrate a positive impact on changing behaviour and reducing risk.
Following the assessment process, where threshold is met for Intervention delivery, a programme of specific targeted interventions is identified and delivered to the individual in a child friendly bespoke way.
The space provided for the delivery of intervention work is of a nurturing nature. Children are encouraged to feel safe and empowered. Sessions are broken down in to three parts which enables children to explore their feelings, participate in the session content and then they are offered a reward ending to allow the child time to deescalate and regulate their feelings prior to returning back to their class.
Children whom present with sexualised behaviours are likely to possess a range of emotional & behavioural problems which accompany their sexual behaviour.
As it is often the sexual behaviour that causes the highest level of concern amongst professionals/carers then there may be a danger that we intervene in respect of the sexual behaviour to the exclusion of such broader factors in the child's life.
Consequently, the consideration and implementation for Intervention of other behaviours is needed to empower wellbeing , to eliminate sexual behaviour and to maintain impact i.e. self-esteem, resilience, loss & trauma, DV, guilt, shame etc.
Bridgelea have worked alongside the Brook Advisory Services and further developed the model to deliver training to all Manchester schools to promote understanding around sexualized behaviours, provide low level intervention strategy advice and be available for schools to consult with around children with problematic behaviours to support them with maintaining access to education within a mainstream setting.