No-one leaves school wanting to work with sex offenders! Obviously.
But some of us end up there. That’s what happened to me.

Image courtesy of ©Barnardo's

Image courtesy of ©Barnardo’s

So I thought I would share a few of the resources I’ve come across during my years working with harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in children and young people…

Useful resources for HSB work…

(All of these ideas and resources are listed on the SHB/HSB page here.)

The links below give access to a number of resources to buy; there are also worksheets, information sheets, articles and other resources that are available and free (mostly) for you to download, save and use.  All I ask is that you acknowledge the source, where appropriate… ENJOY!


Offside“Offside” (DVD and workbook)

The aim of the resource is to educate young people about appropriate teenage relationships and seek to challenge adversarial sexual beliefs that can be associated with concerning or harmful sexual behaviour in young people.
The DVD comprises a 15 minute drama depicting positive and negative examples of young people’s behaviour in pursuit of relationships. The associated workbook contains individual and group exercises and discussions on themes raised in the DVD.  As such, the resource can be used in individual or group settings.  Via such exercises and discussions, young people are encouraged to examine issues relating to the formation of positive and healthy relationships and how age/power differences can affect relationships.
In addition, young people are asked to explore consent in relationships, issues of discrimination and sexuality.  Victim impact issues associated with harmful sexual behaviour and the consequences for others involved are also highlighted. (Information quoted verbatim from the Barnardo’s website)
Produced by Barnardo’s Cymru Taith Service. More details and order form available here.

Your Choice“Your Choice”  (DVD and workbook)

The DVD tells the story of Matt and Aiden who assault Ellie and focuses on consequences, motivation to address offending, sexual attitudes and relapse prevention.  The powerful depiction of the impact on Ellie introduces the area of victim empathy.
The comprehensive workbook provides session outlines and varied exercises and worksheets, suitable for individuals and groups.  ‘Your Choice’ will be of particular assistance to those working with young men who deny or minimise their behaviour and is suitable for boys of 12 years and above.  The workbook is available in Welsh or English.The DVD is available in English only. (Information quoted verbatim from the Barnardo’s website)
Produced by Barnardo’s Cymru Taith Service. More details and order form available here.

Click here to get Jonny’s new e-Book FREE – “Connecting with Troubled Young People.”


This is the glossary of terms used in the management and treatment of sexual offenders, published by the Centre for Sex Offender Management. It’s a great guide for jargon-busting in the sex offending field…


This is a list of residential providers who accept referrals for children with harmful sexual behaviour. It’s not exhaustive, but it might get you started finding the placement you need.


Image courtesy of ©
An online repository of information, resources and links. New but likely to be a really useful “go to” place before long!
Included on the website is a FREE to download group work programme for adolescents with harmful sexual behaviour – here’s the link.


Lists sexual behaviour by age group (0-5; 5-9; 9-13; 13-17) and rates them green, amber or red depending on how “normal” the behaviour is for that age of child. Good quick reference guide. The website also provides guidance on the use of the tool.


This is a piece I wrote for the Policy and Practice sub-committee of NOTA. Stewart Allardyce and I recently revised and updated it. It’s a brief monograph summarising the assessment of children and young people with harmful sexual behaviour. It’s NOT a “how to…” document; rather it explains a little of the history and then lays out the major assessment tools, protocols and structures currently available, with references.


This is truly brilliant summary – a “state of the art” piece – on recidivism prediction in adolescents who’ve offended sexually. It’s written by Phil Rich as part of abroader work by the U.S.-based Sex Offender Assessment Management and Planning Initiative.


The following are a selection of worksheets and direct work tools that I have made over the years. Feel free to download and use at will! Just click on the blue title of each item to download it:

  1. Anger diary – a sheet for recording episodes of angry feelings, the causes, responses and consequences
  2. Consent – a few short scenarios exploring consent and legalities of sexual behaviour, for use in assessment or training
  3. Consequences – some basic questions to help explore the consequences of sexual offending on self, victims and families
  4. Cottaging – simply stated reasons not to go looking for sex in public toilets (originally written for a boy with a learning disability)
  5. Denial – example reasons for denial of behaviour – to ease discussion and help children move out from denial to engagement
  6. Excuses – easy to use excuses for offending, to save children articulating them. Option to go on and explore truthful alternatives
  7. Excuses 1 – a sheet exploring what an excuse is, when people might use them; can be a gentle start to work on denial
  8. Excuses 2 – scenario cards to use for discussing what excuses might be used in such situations (non-offending)
  9. Excuses 3 – helps children to communicate the reasons for their behaviour
  10. Excuses – internet – a version of the “Excuses” worksheet, specific to internet-based sexual offending behavior
  11. Faces photos – can be laminated and cut into cards to help discuss how emotions show in people’s faces
  12. Faces cartoons – as above but using cartoon faces
  13. Feelings – one hundred feelings words to be cut in cards; extremely useful and versatile tool for direct work (one of my favourites!)
  14. Fantasy crib card – simple rules reminder for appropriate sexual thoughts
  15. Gains & losses – a balance diagram for discussing the positives and negatives of re-offending
  16. Girls do want – sheet to list ideas about what girls DO want when choosing a boyfriend
  17. Girls don’t want – sheet to list ideas about the things girls DON’T want when choosing a boyfriend
  18. Glass – half full or half empty; to illustrate that one thing can be thought of in different ways (cognitive re-framing…)
  19. Head bubble – to help discussion about sexual thoughts and masturbation
  20. Head bubble 2 – to help in the discussion about thoughts of any kind
  21. Iceberg – to aid discussion about the interconnectedness of thoughts, feelings and behaviour
  22. Ingredients of offending – for examining the things that caused or led up to an offence
  23. Ingredients (1) – …of appropriate sexual thoughts and consent, a guide for young people
  24. Ingredients (2) – …of “OK” and “not OK” sexual thoughts – preliminary discussion which can rounded off using the ingredients (1) sheet
  25. Lifeline – three worksheets for mapping the young person’s relationships
  26. Masks – cut out cards to use to help young people identify the “fronts” they put on, or how they perceive themselves or others
  27. Miracle day – the classic exercise in exploring what life would be life if we could change anything except ourselves
  28. Miracle me – the classic exercise in exploring what it would be like if we could change anything about ourselves
  29. Thoughts, feelings & behaviour – a sheet to begin defining and discussing examples of each (can be used with the iceberg sheet)
  30. Thoughts, feelings & behaviour – triggers – looking at cognitive and affective antecedents to offending behaviours via an example
  31. Values cards – almost a hundred values cards – can be used to put into priority piles (important, not important etc.) or applied to issues
  32. Victim empathy – short module plan for a few sessions addressing victim empathy, using some of the resources on this page
  33. Words about me – a sheet to help discussion about the negative things people say about sex offenders, to be balanced by positives
  34. Words about me 2 – a sheet for general discussion of strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives about the young person

I have lots of other resources and am always glad to help – please let me know via the contact page if you need something!  Cheers, Jonny.

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This is a free, open-access resource written by Dr Toni Cavanagh Johnson – a guide for parents and professionals working with children. In my view, anything by this author is well worth a read… Here is a reproduced version of some of Dr Johnson’s work, published by Prince Edward’s Island in Canada – again, it’s a free download:Children’s Sexual Behaviour – A Parents’ Guide.


    Photo ©BigTalkEducation

The set of 23 cards include topics such as: inappropriate touching, inappropriate language, unlawful behaviour (such as urinating in public or exposing the genitals) exposure to inappropriate images/TV/films, being photographed inappropriately.
Good for use with the younger ones, but also with those who have learning disabilities.
The pictures are A4 size, printed on card and come in a presentation folder. Guidance notes are included.  Cost £19.99 (at time of publishing). Details from BigTalk Education here.

  • BOOKS…

I will be adding more book recommendations and reviews to the website as time progresses. For now, here goes:

    • Risk Assessment of Youth Who Have Sexually Abused – This is a must read work on assessment. Belying it’s name, it is a persuasive polemic on why “risk” is only one of things we need to examine beforePrescott book we embark on treatment. There is a refreshing emphasis on strengths and resilience, as well as discussion about actuarial assessment and dynamic risk. There is also a useful example of an assessment report. More info here.
    • Rich assessment bookJuvenile Sexual Offenders: A Comprehensive Guide to Risk Evaluation – Everything you need to know about juvenile harmful sexual behaviour assessment, all in one place. Definitely one for the shelf, particularly if you are working in the field. Chapters cover topics such as: heterogeniety; protective factors; distinguishing abuse from non-abusive sexual behaviour; HSB in younger children (pre-adolescents); risk instruments; conducting the assessment interviews and writing the report. This is a truly excellent reference work as well as a handbook for practice. More info here.
    • Ricky has a problemRicky Has A Problem – a booklet about a young teenage boy with a sexualised touching problem – useful for kids in denial or who find it too difficult to discuss their own behaviour. It’s quite expensive for 32 pages, but is very useful! Best suited to incest behaviour for specific treatment discussions, but good for a general approach to the subject. More info here.
  • NOTA…

NOTA stands for National Association for the Treatment of Abusers. NOTA is a professionals’ organisation that does the following:
NOTA New logo

• Provide a support network for professionals involved in work with sex offenders through the national organisation and local branch meetings
• Publish a regular newsletter NOTANews publishing articles, information, news and book reviews
• Publish a tri-annual Journal of Sexual Aggression jointly with Publishers, Taylor and Francis
•  Develop and extend professional knowledge of sexual aggression, assessment and treatment techniques and policy development. Initiate, conduct and disseminate research  conducted by the members and others
• Contribute to practice and policy development, nationally and regionally, through drafting and publishing guidance
• Promote quality national and regional training events
•  Publish briefing and occasional papers on Policy and Practice

ATSA is the North American sister organisation of NOTA. ATSA also has a journal, a website and an annual conference. It has another benefit that will be of interest to readers – a blog. Check it out, it’s well worth a read. Here’s the link:

© Jonny Matthew 2014

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
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