Assessments of sexually harmful behaviour

The Estuary Centre provides comprehensive assessment of young people displaying harmful sexual behaviour, which lead to specific recommendations regarding risk management and treatment intervention.

Our Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) assessments are structured via The Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Behaviour Recidivism (ERASOR, Worling & Curwen, 2001) that provides an empirical measure of risk based on identified factors associated with recidivism.

For younger children exhibiting concerning sexualised behaviour we utilise the Assessing Risk to Repeat Sexual Behaviour Problems scale (AR-RSBP, Curwen, 2011).

Our HSB assessments involve detailed interviews with the young person, family and referrer, and use of various standardised measures to augment background information provided.

The assessment leads to recommendation regarding risk level, where risk is at its highest, how to manage identified risk, and treatment and placement requirements to facilitate identified treatment and safeguarding needs.

Trauma and attachment based assessment

The Estuary Centre utilises the Trauma Assessment Pathway Model (TAP, 2009) to structure and guide the assessment and treatment process. The goals of this model include:

  1. Incorporating standardised measures into the assessment process
  2. Providing a model for the treatment of trauma guided by assessment and empirical research
  3. Providing a treatment model that is directed by the uniqueness of the child and his or her family

Set measures used in all our trauma-focused assessments include:

  1. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire for 3-16 year olds.
  2. The Trauma Symptom Checklist, which evaluates the effects of trauma in children and identifies individual treatment needs.

Four general domains are considered when developing the Unique Client Picture:

  1. Trauma History – What types of trauma has the child experienced? How complex were the trauma experiences? Has the child experienced multiple forms of trauma? Has the trauma been experienced on multiple occasions?
  2. Symptom Presentation – What symptoms is the child currently experiencing, and how severe are these symptoms?
  3. Relevant Contextual History – How does the child’s environment support him/her or create additional stress for him/her? Specifically, how do the child’s family, social support system, community, and cultural system influence him/her?
  4. Developmental History – How does the child’s developmental level influence his/her reaction to his/her experiences, and the way that he/she will heal from traumatic experiences? How old is the child chronologically? How old is the child developmentally? Consider the child’s attachment to important individuals in his/her life.

Once the Unique Client Picture is formed, the assessor synthesizes the information gathered to generate clinical hypotheses.

This process of forming a clinical hypothesis will identify which of the following symptom areas, as found within the TAP Trauma Wheel, is the most problematic for the child, and which area when targeted will have the most impact on the child’s healing.

The Trauma Wheel

The Estuary Centre provides assessment of sexually harmful behaviour in Children and young adults in the East of England

Identified therapeutic needs are targeted through the development of an integrative treatment plan which guides all key stakeholders in the child’s life as to areas of treatment focus.

Risk of Placement Breakdown

We can provide independent assessment into the factors that may be placing a placement at risk of breakdown, leading to recommendations regarding intervention and support required to provide stability to the placement.

We are able to act quickly to identify areas requiring additional resourcing and support and can be commissioned to implement recommended intervention.

Risk of Sexual Exploitation

We utilize the SERAF (Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Framework, Barnado’s) to identify factors associated with the risk of sexual exploitation and from this develop individual treatment plans to address the identified individual and systemic issues so to develop safety and resilience for the young person.

Capacity to Protect Assessment

We undertake assessment of ‘parental capacity to protect’ children from sexual abuse structured via the Parental Capacity to Protect Model developed by Gerrilyn Smith (1994). These assessments provide the referrer with information regarding strengths and deficits in a parents ability to protect their children and recommended treatment interventions.