Young People’s Projects
Our Young People’s Projects work with young people (aged 12-18) of all genders who have shown harmful sexual behaviour. Where possible we will provide advice and guidance regarding children and young people of any age who are not suitable for our projects.
In 2015, the SLF became increasingly aware of the need for Circles of Support and Accountability for young people who have demonstrated sexually harmful behaviour – both as a result of national statistics which show that “between 23-40% of all alleged sexual abuse of children and young people is perpetrated by other young people, mainly adolescents” (Statistics on Child Sexual Abuse, NSPCC, April 2014) and actual requests to the charity for support for young people. In October 2015, the SLF received funding from the Worshipful Company of Weavers to scope out and run Young People’s Circles.
In July 2018 the SLF secured funding from HMPPS to develop an innovative new young people’s project named Apollo. The intervention model draws upon our experience delivering Young People’s Circles of Support and Accountability, the Aurora Project therapy service, and working with adults who have been convicted of sexual offences.
Although our projects are only suitable for young people aged 12-18, where possible the Young People’s Coordinators will assist with advice, guidance and resources for children and young people of any age.
Please see our advice, resources and guidance page for helpful resources.
If you would like to talk about a child or young person before referring or for advice and guidance please email us at SLFHMPWhatton@justice.gov.uk.
Young people with sexually harmful behaviour
Young people eligible for our projects are likely to be particularly vulnerable. Some will have been abused or neglected themselves and are therefore categorised as both survivor and perpetrator, meaning that working with them effectively is particularly complex. Support packages will be tailored to individual needs and last for around 12-18 months. Many of the factors which lead to harmful sexual behaviour in young people are similar to those impacting on adults who have offended sexually and therefore we will utilise the expertise and experience we already have from working with this client group. However, what differs from most adults that sexually offend is that children and adolescents are still developing, both physically and psychologically, so well-targeted interventions can be extremely effective in terms of changing attitudes and behaviour, and so, preventing more victims.
Any young person of any gender who:
- Is aged 12-17 years at the time of referral
- Is living anywhere in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire
- Has shown significant or repetitive sexually harmful behaviour
- Needs support in managing their sexual thoughts, feelings or behaviours
- Is willing to engage voluntarily with us for up to two years
- Consents to the referral being made and assessments being shared
- Has a key professional(s) involved who will be staying involved whilst we complete initial assessments and processes
When a young person is referred to us we will assess them to determine whether they are suitable and which project they would most benefit from.