Developed October 2023.

One Minute Guide to Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) Panel

What is the purpose of the panel?

The purpose of the HSB panel is to:

  • Give professionals access to a panel of professionals from partner agencies experienced in the identification, assessment and management of young people who display HSB.
  • To ensure that cases of suspected or actual HSB are well-managed and coordinated and that all possible action has been taken to protect the victims and reduce the likelihood of further victims.
  • Agree timely and appropriate responses to young people displaying HSB through the completion of assessments and delivery of effective, evidence based interventions.
  • Ensure defensible decisions are made through the provision of advice, guidance and challenge to practitioners working with young people who have displayed HSB.

Which cases will the panel discuss?

The HSB panel will prioritise discussion of young people aged 10-17, who display abusive or violent behaviours as identified by Hackett’s (2010) continuum of children and young people’s sexual behaviours.

Further guidance regarding these behaviours is presented using a ‘Red Amber Green’ rating system in the Brook Traffic Light Tool.

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Referral Process

Anyone who has a concern that a child is deemed to be displaying harmful sexual behaviour, a child might have been abused by another child, or an adult has been the victim of HSB by a child or young person under 18 should refer their concerns to Children's Social Care, or the police in accordance with their local safeguarding policies and procedures. Any professional who is unsure of the need for such a referral must seek advice from the safeguarding lead within their agency.

The Integrated Front Door team will determine how to proceed in relation to the alleged abusing child and the child/adult victim where there is reasonable cause to suspect that the child concerned has experienced or is at risk of Significant Harm.

This may include:

  • The instigation of a section 47 investigation and assessment Completion of a safety and risk management strategy
  • Referral to the locality team for completion of a child and family assessment
  • Any criminal aspects of the alleged abuse are investigated
  • Information relevant to the protection and needs of the alleged victim is gathered

The decision as to which cases are relevant for discussion at the HSB panel should be made by the Integrated Front Door Team Manager and the police as part of an initial strategy discussion, or through consultation with an existing social care team manager (where a case is already open to children’s social care). Relevant cases should then be listed for discussion at the next available HSB panel.

Please note: there may be occasions where the behaviour is not thought to be serious enough to warrant further intervention from the police and/or social care. These decisions should not be taken lightly and as a general rule of thumb the behaviours should be considered symptomatic of un-met need in a child or young person. However, it is important that behaviour of this nature should always be reported into Children Social Care so that a record is made and future assessments can take this information into account.

Panel Members
  • Text link image Who attends?
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    Panel meets monthly and has core membership from the following agencies:

    – Wakefield Children’s Social Care

    – Wakefield Youth Justice Service (YJS)

    – Forensic CAMH Service

    – West Yorkshire Police

    Representatives from each organisation should have the authority to allocate members of staff to support the completion of a HSB assessment and delivery of intervention where required.

  • Text link image What is required of members?
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    All members are required to:

    – Research their own organisational databases and provide relevant information regarding children and young people listed for discussion at panel

    – Contribute to panel discussions and decision making regarding appropriate responses to young people who display HSB

    Partner agencies directly involved with a child or young person will be invited to attend discussions around them, including education, health, early help or any other agency where this is appropriate.

Download this one minute guide on the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Panel click here to download

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