Turn the page: first evaluation Treating harmful sexual behaviour in young people

Boy lying on bedTurn the page is an NSPCC service for young people with harmful sexual behaviour. It uses Change for good, a manualised treatment programme developed for working with young males aged 12-18 years.

Our first evaluation report gives the findings from interviews held with young people, parents and carers, NSPCC practitioners, and local agencies who refer young people to the service. This is part of our Impact and evidence series.

Authors: Emma Belton, Matt Barnard and Richard Cotmore
Published: 2014

Our early findings provide promising evidence that Turn the page can help some young people to understand and manage their own harmful sexual behaviour.

  • Young people who recognised they had a problem and wanted help were more motivated to engage with the programme.
  • Young people's engagement was influenced by whether their parents or carers supported them to attend the service and do projects at home between sessions
  • Practitioners were able to adapt the way they delivered the programme to meet the needs of individual young people and to keep them engaged.
  • Young people found the most useful elements of the programme were that it gave them a better understanding of what is unacceptable sexual behaviour. It also helped them understand their triggers and gave them strategies for managing them.
  • Some young people found it difficult to implement the strategies they had learnt once the programme finished.
  • The young people who did not finish the programme, or who found it a negative experience, did not want to be interviewed. So these findings do not include their views.

This evaluation highlights the complex nature of harmful sexual behaviour. Young people with harmful sexual behaviour often face a range of other difficulties which also need to be tackled, Young people also need ongoing support from parents, carers and other agencies so that the progress they make during the programme can be sustained afterwards.

Further evaluations will provide more insight into how much young people's behaviour changed following the programme, and whether these changes were sustained in the longer term.

Acknowledgements 5
Key findings: Young people’s version 6
Key Findings 7
Executive Summary 8
Chapter 1: Introduction 12
Chapter 2: Motivation 20
Chapter 3: Engagement with the programme 25
Chapter 4: Support Network 32
Chapter 5: Progress during the programme 38
Chapter 6: Using the manual 47
Chapter 7: Maintaining progress after the programme 56
Chapter 8: Conclusion 61
References 65
About the NSPCC 67

Please cite as: Belton, E., Barnard, M. and Cotmore, R. (2014) Turn the page: learning from a manualised approach to treating harmful sexual behaviour. London: NSPCC.

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Support our research

Research like this helps keep children safe from abuse – but we can’t do it without our generous supporters. 

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Library catalogue

We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.

Search the library

New in the Library

A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.

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Helping you keep children safe

Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.

Read our guide (PDF)

Impact and evidence hub

Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.

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Get expert training and consultancy

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