Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours

The research project Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours is funded under the ANROWS Perpetrator Interventions Research Stream and led by Dr Antonia Quadara from the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) in partnership with Dr Wendy O’Brien at Deakin University.

This project will provide insight into the operation of specialised therapeutic treatment services for children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours in Australia. This project draws upon the knowledge of practitioners and policy professionals to better enabledevelop a practice-informed understanding of the what constitutes  good practice principles forin therapeutic responses specialised for young people therapeutic services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours and the factors that support good practice.

The research encompasses four key components:

  • literature review;
  • national mapping of service responses to young people with harmful sexual behaviours;
  • detailed analysis of three services, including semi-structured interviews and focus groups with program managers and practitioners, clients and policy professionals; and
  • a policy/practice forum to test and refine key findings and inform future policy and service model design.

The project commenced in March 2017 and is due for completion in April 2019. This timeframe coincides with several significant inquiries and reform agendas that have resulted in – and will continue to result in – changes to the service and policy contexts in which services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours operate.

The policy/practice forum will be held in mid-2019, to provide an opportunity for ongoing and interactive knowledge translation and exchange between key stakeholders such as researchers, policymakers and practitioners working across a number of sectors that are currently responding to harmful sexual behaviours.

A message of thanks from the project team

On behalf of the project team, we would like to say thank you to everyone who responded to, and helped to circulate our Request for Information survey earlier this year.  We received a total of 59 completed responses, which provided important information about characteristics of the worker profile, clients, the service and important elements of good practice.

You told us that:

The typical clinician working with young people with HSB is a tertiary-educated female between 35-54 years of age. The level of experience working specifically with young people and HSBs is varied. 






Note: From the respondents ‘Other’ approaches used are trauma informed practice. Psychoeducation, dialectical behaviour therapy, narrative therapy, family therapy, systemic therapy, developmental therapy and the New Street therapy model.