A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This is not necessarily physical contact and sexual abuse can happen online. Sometimes the child will not understand that what’s happening to them is actually abuse. They may not even understand that it’s wrong.
One in 20 children has experienced sexual abuse (NSPCC). Sexual abuse is underreported and all foster carers need to develop an understanding of the needs of children and young people who have been sexually abused and how to deal with sexual abuse disclosures.
- Know the signs and symptoms that a child or young person may have been sexually abused and how sexual abuse impacts on their development
- Understand usual sexual development for children and young people
- Respond to children and young people who tell or talk about sexual abuse
- Identify some strategies for caring for a child or young person who has, or may have been, sexually abused
- Understand why some children display harmful sexual behaviour and how to deal with this
- Know how to respond to children who make a disclosure of sexual abuse
- Understanding of potential warning signs of child sexual abuse
- Grooming cycle
- Perpetrators and how they operate Links with exploitation