The S-Word: Exploring sexual behaviour displayed by young people, what is normal, and what is harmful


Young people in out-of-home care and secure settings who have experienced trauma often display a wide range of behaviours that feel difficult to understand and challenging to effectively respond to. One of the challenging behavioural presentations are Harmful Sexual Behaviours. These behaviours can be both personally confronting for carers and staff as well as raise concerns for the risk and safety of other young people in their care. 

This virtual workshop will provide a foundational understanding of the development of Harmful Sexual Behaviour. This session will equip participants with strategies to effectively support and manage young people exhibiting these behaviours through tailored, needs-based responses that are within a child-focused safety framework.

Learning outcomes:
  • Explore personal values in approaching this work and how it impacts on how you respond to young people.
  • Understand the continuum of sexual behaviour – Normal --> Problematic/Concerning --> Violent/Abusive.
  • Understand the factors that contribute to these behaviours including the neurobiology of trauma, attachment, family violence and pornography.
  • Identify risk and protective factors and how to develop specific strategies for managing these behaviours - underpinned by a safety framework.

About the trainer: 
Dan Howell is our Senior Manager of Training, managing the training activities of the Centre including the redevelopment of accredited qualifications and non-accredited training to high quality online offerings. Dan is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has worked extensively with children and young people who have experienced trauma and those who display harmful sexual behaviour. Dan has worked therapeutically with varying presentations including sibling sexual abuse, harmful sexual behaviour and sexual exploitation and abuse. Dan has supported a division of the Department of Human Services in Victoria in this area focusing on resourcing residential carers, case managers and clinical services with consultation, training and reflective practice and has delivered multiple workshops on harmful sexual behaviour including with the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care.

CETC Practice Guide – Working with young people in out of home care who engage in harmful sexual behaviour.

CETC Practice Guide - Safe Connections - Supporting young people in care at risk of child sexual exploitation.


Target Audience

Case managers, residential workers, direct care workers, house supervisors, therapeutic specialists and more working with young people in out of home care and secure settings. 

Virtual workshop

Name Date Time Cost Register
The S-Word: Exploring sexual behaviour displayed by young people, what is normal, and what is harmful 27 June 2024 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM $88.00

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