Independent Specialist Social Worker
Independent Practice Educator
Harmful Sexual Behaviour Trainer and Consultant
Training and Resources
Training for residential care settings, schools and local authorities on how to identify, assess, and address harmful sexual behaviour.
Resources or bespoke programmes to support staff to engage with children / young people, including those with Special Educational Needs.
Consultation and Assessment
Consultation on individual cases to explore the need for further assessment or intervention. Initial consultation can be undertaken over the phone, via Teams / Zoom or face to face.
Assessments are completed through a series of face to face sessions and access to previous relevant paperwork and reports.
Children and Young People
Direct work with children, young people and their families.
A whole systems approach is used to assess the situation and identify pathways into harmful sexual behaviour. This may include Aim2 assessments.
Hello! I’m Indie
I have been a qualified Social Worker for 16 years. I am Social Work England registered and a member of BASW. Prior to that I worked in a variety of social work and social care settings; working with adults with learning disabilities, children with emotional and behavioural problems and supporting young care leavers.
I have worked as a Specialist Social Worker within Aberdeenshire Council’s Youth Services Sexual Behaviour Service for 9 years. This service worked with children and young people, ages 5-18 who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour. More recently I have worked to support children and young people at risk of or experiencing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
I have completed extensive additional training in the area of Harmful Sexual Behaviour including AIM 3 Risk Assessment Training, Aim Supervising HSB Practice, Aim Assessment of Children Under 12’s, Aim Understanding & Managing HSB in Education Settings, Technology Assisted HSB Training, Safer Lives Training / G-Map Programme and Brooks TLT.
What is harmful sexual behaviour?
Children and young people are sexual beings. This is usual and should not present as alarming. But some children and young people’s behaviour make us worry.
Sexual behaviour lies on a continuum, this ranges from being appropriate, observed as ‘usual’ within a child / young person’s age and developmental stage, to problematic, inappropriate and harmful.
Some children and young people’s sexual behaviour is inappropriate, problematic or harmful. But what do we mean by that? This is not an exact science! It seems the starting point is to figure out what we mean by ‘harmful sexual behaviour’?
Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) can be defined as sexual behaviour taking place where coercion or manipulation has occurred. It is also usual to observe at some level, elements of power and control of one person over another and there may be a difference in age or intellectual ability between the two people.
Coercion – to persuade someone forcefully to do something that they are unwilling to do.
Manipulation- controlling someone or something to your own advantage, often unfarily or dishonestly.
Why does harmful sexual behaviour happen?
There are many reasons why children / young people engage in sexual behaviour and it can be a worrying time trying to figure it out. Is it usual? is it concerning? How do we know? Do we need to do something about it? What do we do about it?
This can be a concerning time for the child / young person themselves, the family and the team around the child; Teachers, Care Staff, Social Workers, Health Professionals, to name but a few.
Firstly, we need to assess the situation, the whole system around the child / young person. We look for ‘pathways’; what is driving the behaviour? What is the motivation behind it? We do this by exploring the child / young person’s whole world. Following the assessment, we can assume 3 possible outcomes:
Firstly, no further work is necessary, sufficient understanding and education has been achieved by the child / young person within the assessment process to address the issue.
Secondly, a bespoke piece of work is necessary, as identified in the assessment, within a specific area, for example, relationships.
Thirdly, the child or young person would benefit from a full programme of intervention looking at and supporting them to make sense of their world, themselves and their fit within it.
- Exceptionally skilled at assessment and therapeutic work using a child centred, strengths based approach.
- Ability to engage with hard to reach children and young people.
- Ability to think outside the box, be creative and adapt to meet the aims and objectives.
- Training developed specific to settings.
- Positive fun, interactive training style.
- Extensive experience of providing insight and analysis into complex behaviours through consultation and assessment.
- Genuine, honest, compassionate and knowledgeable approach to all areas of work.
- Qualified Practice Teacher / Educator.
‘Very knowledgeable and experienced trainer. Motivational and kept you engaged.’ Danielle Cunningham, Registered Manager
‘Very helpful and engaging with clear, friendly presentation’, Sam Varey, Assistant Psychologist
Indie’s energy and motivation truly is infectious, and she managed to pick me up and help me continue working to the best of my ability throughout challenging times. I feel lucky to have had such a great and encouraging practice educator . Indie, you have set the bar high!!’, Catherine McIntyre, Social Work Student, Strathclyde University