The launch of a new joint strategy to tackle problematic and harmful sexual behaviour has brought together organisations from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Hosted by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO), the launch event promoted a multi-agency partnership which includes Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the NSPCC (Together for Childhood) and local education, health and voluntary services.
The aim of the partnership is to prevent problematic and harmful sexual behaviours through early identification, and an appropriate effective response to those people displaying them.
Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Helen Fisher, opened the event at Stafford Rugby Union Football Club.
She said: “Children and young people who are impacted by problematic and harmful sexual behaviour must be protected and supported. This is why it is vital they have access to clear, age-appropriate information to help them understand what problematic and harmful sexual behaviours are, and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or anyone they know.
“This new strategy also aims to ensure that professionals, parents and carers are able to recognise the signs of harmful sexual behaviour, and know where to seek support if they have concerns for a child.”
As part of the strategy, the SCO has commissioned the NSPCC to develop a two-year project to tackle harmful sexual behaviours, including:
- Providing all schools with an e-learning package about managing sexualised behaviour; and providing a range of organisations who work with children and young people an e-learning package about online safety
- Delivering problematic and harmful sexual behaviour workshops for foster carers and awareness training for professionals, enabling them to train others
Jennie Hammond, Development Manager for the NSPCC, said: “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (including Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviour) is a key priority for the NSPCC.
“We’ve worked with organisations across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to help them understand problematic and harmful sexual behaviour so that they’re more confident in identifying it, responding to it and ultimately keeping children safe.”
Read the strategy in full.
Completion of the NSPCC Harmful Sexual Behaviour Audit Framework has enabled Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to develop and improve their multi-agency responses to children displaying problematic and harmful sexual behaviour.
The HSB Audit Framework is an NSPCC document which Stoke Together for Childhood used with the SCO to identify strengths and gaps in the local area in relation to problematic sexual abuse and harmful sexual abuse.