What we do
The purpose of assessment is to consider the level of concern with regard to the young person and their behaviour, within the family and wider community. It is also to establish the needs of the young person which, when addressed, may best reduce these concerns.
The assessment constitutes
- four hours of individual time with the young person
- interview(s) with parents and carers with regard to background information, family attitudes to sexuality and views surrounding the current concerns
- a review of the background information supplied by the referring agency and specific information/witness statements in relation to the referring incident(s)
- consideration of reports by other professionals, supplied by the referrer
- use of a recognised risk assessment framework
- use of standardised questionnaires (personality, sexual attitudes and victim blaming attitudes). These may highlight concerns and identify areas for further intervention.
The assessment report will comment on
- the young person's view of the offence/incident, including their understanding of the likely harm to the victim
- the sexual attitudes and beliefs of the young person, including any problematic or inappropriate thinking
- level of sexual knowledge, development and experience
- the young person's perspective on family relationships, history and functioning and our observations on these and relevance to the presenting behaviour
- any other concerning behaviour
- the level of concern with regard to the young person, triggers to behaviour and what may constitute higher risk situations/circumstances
- any placement considerations
- recommendations, where necessary, for further therapeutic intervention and longer term needs/concerns
- recommendations, where necessary, with regard to external monitoring and support for the young person.
Following assessment, the aims of continued involvement would be to:
- challenge inappropriate sexual behaviour in a constructive, informative and meaningful way
- guide young people as they develop ways of handling their emotions and their sexual feelings
- help children and young people come to terms with their own experiences of being a victim
- provide practical guidance and education around associated issues such as sex education, social and relationship skills and problem solving
- help children and young people develop healthy attitudes and beliefs around sexuality, gender roles, victim empathy and age-appropriate sexual behaviour.
Young adult assessment
The Taith Service has a specific service for young adults aged 18 to 21 years where there are current or historical concerns as to sexually harmful behaviours. Assessments are after requested where young adults are moving into independent living or have partners with young children or where there are allegations pertaining to a recent sexual assault.
The assessment comprises of:
- individual interviews with the young adult
- interview with parents/carers where young person is resident
- interview with partner or young adult
- consideration of written information from referring agency
- administration of questionnaires.
The assessment report will address (where relevant)
- concerns in relation to young adult's attitudes and beliefs
- issues of contact with children and others
- further intervention that may reduce levels of risk and need
- view of role of partner in relation to assessed levels of concern.
The Taith Service provides training to a variety of professionals on the following areas:
- introduction to working with children and young people with sexually harmful or concerning behaviour
- assessment and intervention skills
- caring for children and young people with sexually harmful or concerning behaviour for foster carers and residential workers
- young people with learning difficulties who engage in harmful behaviour
- girls with sexually harmful behaviour
- young people who sexually offend via the internet
- working with younger children who display sexual behaviour
- training for education professionals (primary schools, secondary schools or special schools)
- awareness-raising sessions for staff in leisure and other agencies.
Courses can be tailored to meet the specific needs required - if in doubt, please ask.
Bespoke training is available on request. Please contact the Service to discuss.
The Taith Service offers consultancy to professionals involved with children and young people with sexually harmful behaviour. This could include consultation to residential staff, social workers or health or therapeutic professionals. Work with parents or carers.
The Taith Service provides direct input to parents/carers on request. This often involves awareness raising and safe care education. Input can be tailored to address specific issues relevant to the young person for whom they are caring. Please contact the Service to discuss further.