Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 4: Specific support needs and concerns 168 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 4.212 If risk is low, if the children feel safe to speak to key adults, and if comprehensive adult safeguards are in place, then it may not be necessary to compel the person to leave the family home while a full assessment is undertaken. In other circumstances there may be sufficient uncertainty about risk such as to require the taking of steps to ensure that the person does leave until a multi-agency assessment can review the options and form a Child Protection Plan. A written, shared family safety policy understood by all is needed to define arrangements for supervised contact, entry into children’s rooms, sleep-overs, and any situations in which risk might be predicted. 4.213 Investigative processes can be experienced as devastating by the person who has committed the offence, their children and partner. Existing risks can be accentuated by stress. Shame, loss, fear, general anxiety and financial insecurity may be intensified by family, community and public reactions as well as by media coverage. Parents may not know what to say to their children. Children need extra support in these circumstances. 4.214 If accessed or required, the efficacy of treatment for those convicted for viewing of IIOC is not well researched. The person’s engagement, understanding of their offending behaviour and evidence of change will be the subject of a post-programme report. 4.215 Children also access illegal and extreme material on the internet. For some, this behaviour can become compulsive and developmentally harmful. When such concerns arise, practitioners must explore the relevant history and context in order to identify any risks to the young person, as well as from them towards other children. Other guidance in this section covers harmful sexual behaviour by children and other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Resources and References – Internet-enabled sexual offending Children and young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour 4.216 This section may be read alongside the section below on serious harmful behaviour by children. 4.217 Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is defined as “sexual behaviour(s) expressed by children and young people under the age of 18 years that are developmentally inappropriate, may be harmful towards self or others and/or may be abusive towards another child or young person or adult” (Hackett, 2014). 4.218 Children’s sexual behaviour may be described on a continuum ranging from normal to uncommon behaviours, including serious sexual violence.