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Key protective factors for children with harmful sexual behaviours

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This page was updated on 19 September 2022. To view changes, please see page updates

Key protective factors for children with harmful sexual behaviours include:

  • living in a safe environment where the risk they pose is managed (where possible in their current living situation)
  • connection to their family and community
  • receiving relevant and regular therapeutic support.

Placement decisions for a child with harmful sexual behaviours are complex and must address the needs of the child who has been sexually abused, risk factors in the home environment and the capacity of parents and community members to supervise the child with harmful sexual behaviours. Partner with the child, their parents and the safety and support network to develop ways these protective factors can be safely incorporated into a child’s life. Ensure they are included as actions in the child’s case plan, placement agreement and in other important documents.

Further reading

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Final Report, vol. 10 (2017).

Children with problem sexual behaviours and their families. Best Interests case practice model, Specialist practice resource. (2012). Department of Human Services, Victorian Government.

Adolescents with sexually abusive behaviours. Best Interests case practice model, Specialist practice resource. (2010). Department of Human Services, Victorian Government.

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