This framework helps local areas develop and improve multi-agency responses to children displaying harmful sexual behaviour (HSB). It provides a coordinated, systematic and evidence-based approach to recognising and responding to the risks and needs of this vulnerable group.
The framework was developed by the NSPCC, Research in Practice and Professor Simon Hackett with input from a number of national organisations, local authorities and subject experts.
This new version updates and replaces the previous framework published in 2016.
Authors: Simon Hackett, Pat Branigan and Dez Holmes
The framework should be used alongside the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on harmful sexual behaviour among young people.1
You should repeat the audit every 6 to 12 months to help track progress and help you continuously develop and improve your services.
ReferencesNational Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2016) Harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people [London]: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The framework helps commissioners, strategic leads and lead safeguarding professionals from any sector to improve their local area response to harmful sexual behaviour (HSB).
To get the most out of the framework we advise a multi-agency approach involving:
The framework is split into five domains that cover the essential elements of developing and delivering an integrated and effective HSB service for children, young people and their families:
Each domain includes:
Each domain of the Framework includes an audit checklist. We've also provided a separate downloadable audit tool (PDF) that brings all the checklists together in one place. This will help you record the results of your audit and gain an overall picture of your local area’s strengths and weaknesses.
You can also input the findings from your audit into our star tool (XLSX) which produces a visual representation of your audit scores.
If you work in the health sector, we've produced specific guidance to help you use the audit tool (PDF).
We provide additional support to help local areas implement the HSB framework and audit tool. This includes:
The support package is based on experience and insight gained from auditing multiple areas.
Contact us to discuss how we can help in your area - email email@example.com.
Please cite as:
Hackett, S., Branigan, P. and Holmes, D. (2019) Harmful sexual behaviour framework: an evidence-informed operational framework for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviours. 2nd ed. London: NSPCC.
NSPCC (2019) Completing the Harmful sexual behaviour framework audit tool: a guide for designated safeguarding leads in health. London: NSPCC.
NSPCC (2019) Harmful sexual behaviour framework: audit tool. London: NSPCC.
NSPCC (2019) Harmful sexual behaviour framework: star tool. London: NSPCC.
Our elearning courses will help you manage, assess and respond to sexual harassment and abuse in primary and secondary schools.
Access guidance, resources and training to help you respond to and prevent incidents of problematic sexual behaviour and harmful sexual behaviour, including child-on-child and peer-on-peer sexual abuse.
Provides learning for professionals around responding appropriately to children and young people who have displayed HSB or been impacted by it and assessing their needs.