Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service

Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) by a young person (under the age of 18) may include:

  • inappropriate touching
  • using sexual violence or threats
  • sexual activity that involves force, coercion or persuasion
  • sexual bullying – both online and offline – including enticement to perform sexual acts, production of sexual photos and/or sexting

Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service is committed to challenging and supporting children and young people to prevent escalation of problematic behaviours leading to HSB.  NYOS staff  undertake specialist assessments and interventions with children or young people have committed sexual offences or are displaying other sexually abusive behaviour.  At present, this work is only undertaken with children and young people who are clients of NYOS and referrals can only be accepted from internal colleagues.

Referrals can be about children and young people

  • who have admitted their behaviour and have been referred to NYOS for an Out of Court Disposal.
  • who have either admitted or been found guilty of a sexual offence in Court and are due to be sentenced
  • who are showing concerning sexual behaviour and are already on an Order to NYOS for something else.

NYOS staff may become involved before a Court case is finished to make sure that the child or young person and their parent/carer understand what is happening.  They may also get involved to make sure that Social Services check if any other child or young person might be at risk of harm and assist with safety planning.

All staff undertaking assessments are all either directly employed by or seconded into the YOS and have been trained.  In addition to their professional background, skills and knowledge within the youth justice system, they have undertaken formal training in the use of the AIM3 assessment model or J-SOAP.  The AIM3 approach to assessment and intervention is evidence based and is approved for use with children and young people by, amongst others, the Youth Justice Board. J-SOAP is used at an earlier stage in the system, more often by nurses.

For further information regarding this area of practice please contact us.