Tackling Problematic Sexual Behaviours in Young Children
Families and carers in Far West LHD are set to benefit from a NSW Health-led approach to supporting children under the age of 10 who display problematic or harmful sexual behaviours.
The Far West LHD Safe Wayz program will, for the first time, give children and their families access to evidence-based prevention, early assessment and support, as well as specialist therapeutic care.
To be established with a NSW Government investment of $15.2 million over five years, the Safe Wayz program is a multi-agency, child-centred model of care that is inclusive of all abilities, cultures, languages, experiences and backgrounds.
Brad Astill, Chief Executive of Far West LHD, said when a child displaying harmful
sexual behaviours receives high-quality, early and family-inclusive support, the
outcomes are outstanding and very few continue these behaviours.
“Through Safe Wayz, children and their families can access assessment and supports when they need it, to help them safely resolve the behaviours,” Brad Astill said.
“Safe Wayz also helps people working with children to identify and intervene early when problematic sexual behaviours first emerge. It also provides parents and carers with information and resources to help them recognise and manage this issue at home, including guidance on what sexual behaviours are developmentally expected, and which are problematic and harmful.”
Backed by a state-wide clinical and cultural support and advice team based at the
Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, the Safe Wayz program model aligns with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In Far West LHD, please contact the Safe Wayz Program via 0880801100 or FWLHDVAN@health.nsw.gov.au.
Safe Wayz complements NSW Health’s New Street program, which provides services and support for children aged 10-17 years displaying harmful sexual behaviours. To contact your local New Street Service, please phone 0880801100 or email FWLHDVAN@health.nsw.gov.au.