Working with the health sector

Healthcare professionals play a key role in child protection, both in identifying children who are in need of safeguarding and support and assisting families at risk.

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB)

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) has been identified by NHS England as a priority area in healthcare. Everyone who works in the health sector has a key role in recognising when a child’s sexualised behaviour becomes problematic or harmful, stopping it from escalating and making sure everyone involved gets the support they need (NHS England, 2016*).

We've created evidence-based resources which help frontline practitioners across the UK respond to children and young people displaying HSB, mitigate risk and prioritise children's safety. We've also provided guidance to help strategic leads assess and improve the local area response to HSB and strengthen multi-agency working.

Protecting children from HSB

Identifying and responding to HSB

Specialist advice for health practitioners on how to recognise and assess HSB and how to respond appropriately and proportionately.



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Improving multi-agency responses to HSB

Research and resources to help organisations improve multi-agency responses when working with children and young people who display HSB.

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Developing a coordinated approach to HSB

The harmful sexual behaviour framework enables strategic leads and commissioners to audit and improve responses to HSB in the local area.

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Understanding healthy and unhealthy relationships

Learn how to recognise the signs that a young person is in an unhealthy relationship and what you need to do to respond to concerns. 

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