Caring for Children and Young People who display Sexualised Behaviours

Foster Care Training

Many children in care display inappropriate sexualised behaviours as a result of previous experiences that they may have had. Consequently, managing such behaviour is an area of foster care training that should be explored by foster carers. To understand what constitutes normal sexualised behaviour, foster carers will need to have a knowledge of the differences between usual developmental sexual behaviour and harmful sexual behaviour. The course will introduce participants to various age-group-specific classifications under the ‘traffic light’ framework. This allows them to detail the severity of younger children and adolescent developmental deficiency based upon specific sexualised behaviour.

The training then explores the reasons why some young people behave in this way, including sexual abuse, and domestic violence. The implications these experiences have on child development and value systems will be elaborated upon. Once participants have a solid understanding and recognition of inappropriate sexual behaviours they will learn how to approach and deal with these in an effective manner. It addresses the issues that foster carers may have in looking after these children with appropriate responses. This includes how to set up a suitable environment for these children, with planned house rules and intervention strategies, as well as how to enforce these measures.

Finally, the course will cover the possibility of allegations against carers, and how to prevent these, while focusing on how foster carers need to look after themselves and their own families in challenging circumstances. Overall, the course aims to equip foster carers with an understanding of how to support and manage children displaying sexualised behaviour while focussing on safer caring issues for all.

The course is led by an experienced trainer with the support of case studies and group discussions. The course meets the requirements of the Foster Care Training, Support and Development Standards:

  • Standard 1: 1.2
  • Standard 3: 3.1, 3.4, 3.5
  • Standard 5: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.7
  • Standard 6: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3
  • Standard 7: 7.2