Specific Sexual Health Safeguarding
Our specific sexual health safeguarding sessions are designed to support young people who display or have displayed sexually harmful behaviours towards others. It is also used for the recovery work with children and young people who are or have been sexually exploited or who are at risk of sexual exploitation.
The Gift is a guide used within these sessions. Staff at Somerset Equus are provided with specific clinical consultation and supervision for this work.
‘The Gift’: A Holistic Guide to Treating Children and Young People with Sexually Harmful or Inappropriate Behaviours
The Gift is a child-centred treatment guide which gives content and structure to professionals working with children and young people who are at risk of sexual harm to others. It is a positive intervention model that helps children and young people understand in a concrete way why their own bodies and those of others are special and why they should not steal other people’s ‘gifts’ or allow their own to be ‘stolen’.
We have found that integrating work with the horses whilst delivering this programme can be hugely beneficial to the young person. These sessions can invoke intensive discussion which can often bring up traumatic and harrowing memories. The interaction with a horse following these conversations allows space and time to safely reflect whilst promoting better self-regulation and management of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Consequently sessions end on a positive note, therefore encouraging continued engagement.
The Gift is now being used widely in Somerset County’s Social Care and Education under clinical supervision.
The Gift was devised by Jock Mickshik (a Risk Assessment and Treatment Specialist Social Worker with Somerset Children’s Social Care) alongside an educational psychologist.