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Change for Good

About Change for Good

Supporting young people to find ways to avoid harmful sexual behaviour 

A young person who has displayed harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) can find it hard to understand what has happened, or what’s going to come next.

Change for Good is a strengths-based manualised intervention programme for adolescents that have displayed HSB. It addresses HSB in the context of the social and emotional challenges the young person is facing and helps them to recover and regain control.

The intervention aims:

  • to increase the likelihood of young people showing sexual and non-sexual behaviours that are socially acceptable and refrain from HSB
  • to enhance psychosocial functioning, optimism about the future and a sense of wellbeing.

How it works

Change for Good provides a structured intervention for practitioners to work through, with flexibility to adapt to the needs of the young person.

There are around 30 sessions addressing individual issues, including activities like playing games and storytelling. The sessions cover:

  • engagement
  • relationships
  • self-regulation
  • road map for the future.

There are also projects for young people to complete at home between sessions. The programme can take up to a year.

Change for Good is underpinned by a cognitive behavioural approach and draws on attachment theory, mentalisation theory, psychodynamic and systems theories. We talk to young people about their strengths, to help them feel better about themselves and learn to handle problems positively.

The Change for Good manual was written by Professor Eamon McCrory, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at University College London. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) recognised Change for Good in its HSB guidelines published in 2016.1

“The work helped me out a lot. I know rights and wrongs now. It helped explain things so it’s a lot easier now. I know not to touch people unless they want to, that’s why I came here. It changed my life now ‘cos I could have carried on like that.”

Young person

Training and implementation support

We train and support organisations to adopt, implement and deliver the Change for Good programme in their local area.

Before implementing Change for Good, organisations must complete the HSB framework audit. This provides the foundation to set up a successful service.

Our training and implementation support package includes:

  • a licence to deliver the service in accordance with the model but with the flexibility to meet local needs and practice
  • expert guidance and practical support to guide you through setting up a successful service
  • pre-training workshop to help senior managers identify how you can make the most of the service and establish methods for ongoing evaluation and outcomes
  • a bespoke, individual needs-assessed training programme
  • ongoing implementation support.

Change for Good can also be delivered by youth justice or social care professionals to help provide children and young people the support they need without escalation to services at a higher threshold. The work supports safety planning and risk management plans, helping agencies to progress towards a safe reduction in these plans and enabling young people to develop healthy social lives.


National 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).

Ready to deliver Change for Good? 

Our expert consultants and trainers are here to help you deliver Change for Good.

Email us to find out more


Evidence and evaluation


Appropriate support isn’t always available for young people who display HSB. Our Learning from case reviews briefing on HSB found a lack of resources means it can take time for therapeutic intervention to be offered to a child. And sometimes the support that services could provide within the limits of their capacity wasn’t adequate or appropriate for the child’s needs. The briefing emphasised the importance of practitioners taking a child-centred approach, working with children to find out their lived experience, what risks they are exposed to and what their needs are.


In 2018, NSPCC published the evaluation which focused on the real world application of the Change for Good manual - delivered by the NSPCC as the Turn the Page service. The evaluation looked at what works to help young people engage with and make progress on the programme.

What we learnt

The evaluation found statistically significant reduction and improvement in young people’s:

  • self-esteem
  • emotional loneliness
  • resilience - sense of mastery
  • self-efficacy
  • adaptivity
  • optimism.

The relationship between young people and practitioners was an important factor in enabling young people to discuss their HSB and resolve issues that had been worrying them. Being given practical strategies to manage their behaviour also helped them.

The evaluation highlighted there were areas that needed more focus such as sexual knowledge and attitudes for peer-related HSB cases.

We have used the evaluation findings to develop a comprehensive training package and practice guidance. This is regularly updated to ensure it complements the manual with up to date guidance and best practice.

> See the evaluation of the Turn the Page programme

"They always listened, whereas you get some people at school and some people at home, they’re just there, they pretend to listen, but the CSPs really did listen. They actually just said, 'Well why do you think this? How did this make you feel?' and actually got you to think how you feel a lot more."

Young person

Deliver Change for Good

Get in touch with our consultants to find out more. Email