Working with children and young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour: evidence based guidance for professionals working with children and young people

Guidance to support professionals who work with children and young people to identify, prevent and mitigate harm caused by children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour


1 The largest review of studies looking at reoffending amongst young people who had been charged with a sexual offences found the reoffending rate to be at 4.9% (Caldwell, 2016).

2 Training must be completed before accessing and using the Brook Traffic Light Tool. The Brook Traffic Light Tool has not been designed specifically for Scottish policy and practice.

3 Reforms proposed under the Children (Care and Justice) Scotland Bill will raise the age at which children are routinely referred to the Childrens Hearing System for offending behaviour to under 18.

4 At the time of writing, provisions in the Children (Care and Justice) Scotland Bill would allow for the remittal of a child’s case in summary proceedings where that child is over 17.5 years of age – albeit the court must consider that remittal in these circumstances would be practicable. Provision is also made in the Bill to clarify that, in respect of certain sexual offences, where a case is remitted to the children’s hearings system after a Sexual Offence Notification Requirement (SONR) has been imposed, the SONR continues to apply despite the case being remitted for disposal.

5 Source: Mandatory Reporting (

6 The Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill due to be enacted in 2024 will legally remove the option of detaining under 18s in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). The involvement of staff who work in YOIs with under 18s is therefore, time limited.



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