National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NCATS) Evidence, impact and evaluation
The National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NCATS) works with children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour. Evidence from the service continues to influence policy and practice in the field.
How harmful sexual behaviour affects children
Around one third of sexual abuse is committed by children and young people (Hackett, 2014).
Children who sexually harm others have often suffered abuse and neglect themselves. They need intensive therapy to overcome their experiences and change their behaviour. There is a serious shortfall in both assessment and treatment facilities for the most serious young offenders, and little research on what treatment approaches are effective.
Without help, some of these young people will become adult offenders.
Read more about harmful sexual behaviour.
How NCATS is helping prevent child abuse and neglect
Service provision for children and young people with harmful sexual behaviour is patchy across the UK. There is, in particular, a shortage of assessment and treatment provision for the children and young people who are displaying some of the most serious behaviour.
The National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service is a national centre of expertise that has developed a model and approach for working with children in this area.
The knowledge and experience NCATS has gained are being used to improve the assessment and treatment of harmful sexual behaviour through training, consultancy and the development of a treatment manual.
How we're evaluating this service
The evaluation of NCATS is using a range of standardised psychometric measures before and at the end of the programme.
The evaluation has recently begun and progress will be monitored as data is collected.
This evaluation uses the following tools:
- Trauma Symptom Checklist and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children
- Sexual Behaviour Inventory
- Child Sexual Behaviour Inventory
- Adolescent Clinical Sexual Behaviour Inventory
- Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
- Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale
- Goal-Based Outcome
- Session by Session rating scales
- CHI Experience of Service Questionnaire (CHI-ESQ)
Contact Matt Barnard for more information.
What we've learnt so far
Evidence from NCATS has been used to develop the practice guide 'Change for Good' (McCrory, 2011), a treatment manual for adolescents displaying harmful sexual behaviour.
'Change for Good' is being evaluated as part of our evaluation of Turn the Page.
What we're doing next
The NCATS team continues to learn and influence practice around effective treatments for children and young people with harmful sexual behaviour.
Impact and evidence hub
Support our services
Our services help children and families who need support. With your help, we can make sure even more children are safe from abuse.
Sexual abuse services
Letting the Future In
Hear and Now
Turn the Page
Protect and Respect
Women as Protectors
National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NCATS)
Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child
Hackett, S. (2014) Children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Research Review. Dartington: Research in Practice.