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Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse resources: signs and indicators of child sexual abuse template and guidance for supporting parents and carers

Date: Thursday, 17th Mar 2022 | Category: General

Signs and indicators: A template for identifying and recording concerns of child sexual abuse

The centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre) have developed a template to support professionals across a range of organisations and agencies in systematically observing, recording and communicating their concerns about possible child
sexual abuse.

What can the template help you to do?

Most children who are being sexually abused do not tell anyone about it at the time; instead, they may show other emotional, behavioural and physical signs and indicators of their abuse. If professionals wait for children to tell them what is going on before taking any action, there is a risk that children will not being protected and supported in a timely manner.

This template aims to create a common language among professionals to discuss, record and share concerns that a child is being, or has
been, sexually abused. It aims to help you:

  • consider, identify and clearly record signs which may indicate that sexual abuse is or has been taking place
  • discuss and explore concerns that a child is being or has been sexually abused, and communicate those concerns to other
    organisations and agencies.

The template can be accessed via this link:

Supporting parents and carers:  A guide for those working with families affected by child sexual abuse

The centre have also developed a new guide to help professionals provide a confident, supportive response when concerns about the sexual abuse of a parent or carer’s child have been raised or identified.

This guide is designed to help professionals understand more about how child sexual abuse affects parents and their children, so that they can support them effectively. It includes situations where the child has been sexually abused by an adult or adults or experienced another child’s harmful sexual behaviour, whether this has taken place inside or outside their family environment. It explores the impact of child sexual abuse carried out in different contexts, and how such abuse can affect families differently.

It explains why parents need to receive a supportive response from professionals, and what this involves, and it provides lists of resources and sources of support for professionals to support their work and share with the parents they are working with.

The guide does not cover safeguarding actions or what to do when it is suspected that a parent is complicit in the abuse of a child.

To access the guide, please click on the following link:

If you have concerns about a child, please follow this link: What to do if you think a child is at risk of abuse or neglect