Sheffield’s Multi-Agency Work with Young People with Harmful Sexual Behaviour


The aim of this process is to ensure a multi-agency approach to the early identification, assessment of and intervention with young people who are exhibiting harmful sexual behaviour.  In doing this we aim to safeguard the young people themselves, their victims and potential future victims.


The new process will enable professionals working with children in Sheffield to identify sexualised behaviour in young people and assess its appropriateness. Where this behaviour is deemed inappropriate the process will provide a referral pathway to a multi-agency screening process.

Relevant professionals in partnering organisations will be trained to use the Brook Traffic Light Tool which divides young people’s sexualised behaviour into red, amber and green behaviours. Green are age appropriate, amber require further information and red require immediate referral.

Referrals are sent to the Prevention and Assessment Team (PAT). This team, also trained in the use of the Traffic Light Tool would make a decision whether to refer for a multi-agency strategy discussion, involving Social Care, Youth Justice and Forensic Child Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs). From this discussion an appropriate outcome is identified including further assessment or specific interventions.


This process has a number of key benefits including:

·    Opportunities for early intervention are not missed

·    Safeguarding issues in relation to both the perpetrator and the victim are considered

·    The needs of the children and young people who sexually harm are considered separately from the needs of their victims

·    Joint, multi-agency working, ensures individual needs and risks are addressed with clearly defined roles and responsibilities

·    The reduction in therisk of future harmful sexual behaviour and the protection of future victims

How to make a Referral

Where concerns are identified in relation to a young person’s sexualised behaviour the first reference point should be the person in your organisation with some specialised knowledge (e.g. child protection liaison teachers). The next stage is for that person to contact the area PAT.  A phone call should be made to a screening officer.

Numbers are:

North                     0114 203 9591                                        

East                       0114 205 3635

West                      0114 250 6865


For further information regarding the Brook Traffic Light Tool and the referral process please refer to the Safeguarding website, or to discuss training on the Brooke Traffic Light Tool contact the Safeguarding Training Team on 0114 2734530.