Assessment, consultation and therapy (ACT) - information for professionals

Assessment Consultation Therapy (ACT) is a specialist therapeutic service. We work with children and young people, aged 8 to 18, who present with issues around harmful sexualised behaviour.

Harmful sexualised behaviour can be defined as sexualised behaviour that is developmentally inappropriate and behaviours that inflict harm to oneself and others. It can involve sexual exploitation and maltreatment, using an imbalance of power, control, secrecy and cohesion. These acts can be forms of contact and non-contact behaviours. They can occur due to cognitive distortions based on life experiences, inappropriate use of social media and technology assisted behaviour.

We use the Brooks Traffic Light Tool and Hackett Checklist as a screening criterion. The AIM3 Framework is used to assess and provide treatment and intervention. It is designed to look at the child or young person's behaviour, focusing on the underlying cause, triggers and symptoms. It primarily focuses on the child or young person's needs in addition to quantifying risk and levels of supervision (Leonard and Hackett, 2019). The AIM3 assessment involves the children or young person and their family, it is holistic and not an actuarial risk assessment.

Support services offered by ACT:

Enquiries: to discuss concerns and get advice. An enquiry will be opened for every child or young person we are made aware of, but to progress past this stage we will send out a referral form.

Consultation: a meeting held for parents/carers and professionals to explore the harmful sexual behaviour in more detail.

Consultation to the Network: a meeting for professionals only, to explore the behaviour. This is often held when a child or young person is displaying these behaviours in school.

AIM3: Assessment, Intervention, Moving On, is the assessment model that we use. It helps us gain an understanding of the behaviour and think about how best to move forward. We will meet with the child or young person to explore their thoughts and feelings about the behaviour.

Post Intervention: If the AIM3 shows that a child would benefit from ongoing support, we can offer direct work to them and their family.

Specialist Reviews: Sometimes the Police request an AIM3 based on paperwork, rather than us meeting with the child. This is only for specific situations and helps inform them about the child's needs.

Other options: It may be ongoing work with ACT is not needed following the consultation or AIM3. In these situations, we will make suggestions for other support we feel would benefit your child.

Contact us

If you are concerned about the behaviour of a child or young person, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you would like to find out more about ACT or discuss a referral, please contact the team.

Telephone: 01483 519606


Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.