Harmful sexual behaviours among children and young people


Event type Half Day

Tuesday 17 January 2023
12:30 - 16:00 UK, 13:30 - 17:00 CET, 08:30 - 12 noon EST
Recordings are available for 90 days after the event, together with slides.

Portrait of a sad teenage girl looking thoughtful about troubles in front of a


There have been growing levels of awareness by professionals of harmful sexual behaviours among children and young people. This webinar will focus on the connection between the digital world and harmful sexual behaviours, and assessment and intervention. The ACAMH Northwest branch presents this half day conference on sexually harmful behaviours in children and young people. The webinar will focus on several key presentations, questions and discussion. The conference will offer attendees opportunities to hear from expert speakers who provide services in this field.

Learning outcomes

  • Provide delegates with an overview of sexually harmful behaviours in children and young people
  • Create a framework of understanding of assessment and interventions in sexually harmful behaviours.
  • Equip delegates to identify and deal with technology assisted sexually harmful behaviours.

About the talks

Christine McCarlie – ‘Assessment, Intervention and Moving on: AIM Frameworks for assessment and intervention with adolescents with harmful sexual behaviours’

This presentation will describe how the AIM assessment, intervention and reviewing processes are used when working with young people with problematic and/or harmful sexual behaviours.

It will provide an overview of the AIM3 assessment model and the five domains contained within it. It will show how the information contained within the domains is analysed to develop a profile of the young person and their environment, and how this profile is used to inform risk, areas of need and required interventions.

The presentation will also provide an overview of the AIM Intervention Framework. This offers a trauma informed four staged approach to interventions. It recognizes the significant role adults play in managing risk and also in supporting young people through a process of change. It will describe the stages contained within the framework and give examples of work with young people and adults. It will highlight the importance of effective multi agency risk management processes to ensure that risk is managed, monitored and evaluated whilst interventions are underway.

Learning Outcomes

  • To provide an understanding of the AIM3 Model of Assessment, its structure, language and content
  • To provide an awareness of the four stage trauma informed AIM Intervention Framework
  • To provide an awareness of the theories and approaches informing this framework.

Jennifer Allotey – ‘Growing up in a digital world: How to recognise and respond to technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour’

Technology is now integral in the lives of children and young people. Whilst this brings many benefits, it is also an area in which young people can harm and be harmed. This presentation will explore ways in which technology can feature in harmful sexual behaviours displayed by children and young people and how professionals can recognise and respond to this.

Learning outcomes

  • To recognise the ways in which technology can be used in a harmful way by children and young people
  • To consider how to respond to technology-assisted sexual harm displayed by children and young people

Dr. Shermin Imran, John Hicklin, and Jill Goodwin – ‘Harmful Sexualised Behaviours in Adolescents- FCAMHSNW overview and 2 case studies’

This presentation describes some data and key factors relating to presentation of harmful sexualised behaviour in young people up to 18 years of age. We explore relevance of identifying and treating neurodevelopmental and any other co-morbid mental health difficulties, increasing the vulnerability and complexity of such presentation. We discuss issues of digital literacy across generations and how we advise and support relevant agencies in their duty to ensure safeguarding and risk management, as an ongoing dynamic process. We describe key principles of intervention and how these may need to be adapted in practice. We present 2 exemplar cases of young people presenting with harmful sexualised behaviour discussing the relevant factors in their assessment and intervention. These cases have been developed for this presentation reflecting some of the common issues observed during clinical practice.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the presentation of harmful sexualised behaviour and relevant factors in young people
  • To recognise the key principles of safe intervention with adolescents
  • To discuss application of these principles in practice.

Who should attend

This event is aimed at those who work with or have an interest in harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people, both in clinical and non-clinical roles. It will be of particular interest to those conducting research in the field of child and adolescent mental health, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Psychologists, Speciality Doctors, Clinicians, Nurse Practitioners, Investigators, and those with an interest in child and adolescent mental health. Additionally, it is also relevant to those working in education, Educational Psychologists, and those with a pastoral care responsibility, plus those who oversee youth work such as Social Workers.

Programme (subject to minor changes)

12:15 Log on/ Networking

12:30 Introductions – Dr. Mark Bowers, Chair of ACAMH NW branch

12:40 Assessment, Intervention and Moving on: AIM Frameworks for assessment and intervention with adolescents with harmful sexual behaviours – Christine McCarlie, AIM Associate trainer and Director of Safer Futures Ltd

13:25 Growing up in a digital world: How to recognise and respond to technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour – Jennifer Allotey, Social Worker & Forensic Psychologist in Training Forensic CAMHS, Yorkshire

14:10 Break

14.25 Harmful Sexualised Behaviours in Adolescents- FCAMHSNW overview and 2 case studies – Dr. Shermin Imran, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Lead Clinician CAMHS Services, John Hicklin, Retired Clinical Nurse Specialist GMMH, and Jill Goodwin, Specialist Mental Health Practitioner, FCAMHS NW Team, GMMH Trust

15:15 Q&A

16:00 Close

About the speakers

Jennifer AlloteyJennifer is a Social Worker and Forensic Psychologist in Training. She has worked in the area of harmful sexual behaviour for many years with children, young people and adults. In addition to experience as a social worker within a child protection team and working within the Probation Service, Jennifer has worked in a range of specialist services including NSPCC, Lucy Faithful Foundation, FCAMHS and Safer Lives. Jennifer is an associate of the AIM Project and co-author of the Technology- Assisted Harmful Sexual Behaviour Practice Guidance.

John Hicklin Recently retired after 38 years mental health nursing, the last 23 years spent in forensic CAMHS. Caseload consistently included complex SHB cases at both assessment and intervention level. Completed a research study in the field and relevant training. Latterly assisted colleagues who recently joined the service in acquiring assessment and intervention skills.

Dr Shermin Imran is a child and adolescent psychiatrist currently working in and leading the Forensic CAMHS outreach service for the North West. She has over 10 years’ experience of working in the Tier 4 services for adolescents in Manchester, is a clinical lead for GMMH CAMHS services, and an elected member of the NHSE CAMHS Clinical Reference group.

Jill Goodwin – Qualified social worker with over 20 years experience in a variety of roles. Currently work in the regional Forensic CAMHS service in the North West, the role involves working across agencies to facilitate formulation, risk management and some assessment and intervention of young people.

Christine McCarlie has been a Social Worker for over 37 years, specialising in working with children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours since 1994. She is an Associate trainer for the AIM Project, delivering training on the AIM Assessment Models and Intervention. She co-authored AIM Intervention Guidance: working with adolescents, their families and carers re harmful sexual behaviours, (2019). Within her role as Director of Safer Futures Ltd she provides consultation, training and direct work with young people