Working with protective carers


Knowledge of child sex sexual abusers is used to inform work with children and families, and in particular to really understand the dilemmas and difficulties for the protective carer.  The recovery of the child victim relies heavily on the contribution and understanding of the protective carer; they need to understand how this could have happened to their child and we need to know how they will protect in the future.  This is a fine balance of not ‘blaming’ the protective carer whilst also assessing their future ability to protect.  This can only be done if the holistic experience of the protective carer is understood.

These decisions are often made more difficult because of the background of silence, and the denial and minimising by the alleged sexual abuser.  We therefore assess the protective carer within the context of our knowledge of different patterns and styles of sex offending by the male or female sexual abuser, and how these help us to understand the partners situation and what the implications of this are for our assessment and the outcomes.

Course title Brief overview Length Level

Did they know and are they safe?  Assessing the protective carer


This course is designed to assist practitioners to sensitively explore issues around assessment and intervention with the protective carer of sexually abused children within the context of knowledge of sexual abusers and the implications for child protection decision making.


1 day




Investing in the protective parent/carer; structured 1-1 or group work support programmes for partners/mothers/ carers


This training is for professionals working with abusers and/or with children and families where there has been either intra-familial or extra-familial child sexual abuse, particularly where partners may become monitors of relapse prevention plans.


2 days




Assessing protective carers

Although risk and protection issues in family situations are primarily related to the risk of the potential abuser, they are also related to the ability of the non-abusing or other carers to protect.

Throughout the three days participants will have the opportunity to address what is currently known about sexual abuse, focusing on the different types of risk sex offenders pose, and various strategies sex offenders employ to groom children and those who care for them.

They will consider and gain understanding about the trauma partners and relatives often experience when a partner is accused or convicted of sexual abuse, and they will also learn how to use the ‘Lucy Faithfull Foundation Format for Assessing Protective Adults’.  

This course is aimed at experienced social work staff who undertake assessments.

3 days Advanced

Intervention following sexual abuse within families:  how did he do that to us?


This course is designed to use knowledge of adult male sexual abusers to understand the experience of the protective carer and child victim.  Sexual abusers often minimise the extent of the abuse, so knowledge of offending patterns can help understand the presentation of the child victim and other family members.  This is relevant to work with families whether the sexual abuser is still present, or has left but problems still persist.


3 days




Contact us

To discuss your training needs, contact the training co-ordinator on 01527 591922 or email: