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Turn the Page: manualised treatment programme

Final evaluation report

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is defined as one or more children engaging in sexual discussions or acts that are inappropriate for their age or stage of development. These can range from using sexually explicit words and phrases to full penetrative sex with other children or adults. (Rich, 2011)

• The NSPCC prevalence study found that two-thirds of contact sexual abuse experienced by 0–17-year-olds was committed by peers (Radford et al, 2011). As well as representing a current concern in terms of actual and potential victims, if not addressed, there is a risk that for some young people this behaviour may continue into adulthood.

• Young people involved in HSB are diverse in terms of the reasons for their behaviour and the type of HSB they engage in. Many have experienced difficult family circumstances (Vizard et al, 2007) or previous abuse or trauma (Hackett et al, 2013). This in turn can lead to problems with attachment, peer relationships and deficits in self-regulation and inhibitory control (Creeden, 2013).

• The treatment of young people with HSB needs to attempt to change a young person’s behaviour as well as addressing the reasons they engage in HSB, their family relationships and context (Hackett, 2004). Currently, there is little research evidence on what treatment approaches are effective, and the level, content and quality of service provision varies (Home Office and DH, 2006; Hackett, 2004; NICE, 2015).

• As part of the Turn the Page service, the NSPCC has been using the Change for Good manual (McCrory, 2011) to work with young males aged 12–18 years with HSB. The manual has been in use across 12 sites since 2011. It is a strengths-based intervention that addresses the young person’s HSB in the context of the social and emotional challenges they are facing.

• The programme is delivered over 30 sessions: 26 structured oneto- one sessions and four additional non-manualised flexible sessions used to address individual need.