New Ways Safeguarding: Stepping Forward

Compass have Specialist Foster Carers across England and Wales

Compass have Specialist Foster Carers across England and Wales: New Ways Safeguarding: Stepping Forward

What is Stepping Forward?

A therapeutic service developed for children who are exhibiting Problematic Sexual Behaviour (PSB)

Sometimes, in order to meet a variety of needs, young people can display a range of problematic behaviours, including behaviour which has a sexual element to it. Research into children displaying PSB has evolved towards a general recognition that neglect and maltreatment in early childhood, including sexual abuse, may predispose the onset of PSB (Seto and Lalumiere, 2010).We also know that they may have lived in confusing and hostile environments at significant stages in their life. This may have impacted on how they view the world and on how they understand relationships and interpersonal behaviours.

The Stepping Forward Programme guides the young person towards exploring their formative experiences and the learning they may have taken from this. Young people reflect on the presentation of their own behaviour, the needs the behaviour met for them, and they contribute to future planning, in order that they are better able to manage this risk in the future.


The intervention comprises of 80 sessions, divided into six modules:

  • Analysis of PSB
  • Attachment, Mentalisation and Me
  • Learning from the Past
  • Positive Self-Narrative
  • Relationships and Effective Communication
  • Understanding my Thoughts, Attitudes, Emotions and Behaviours

Compass Community is working in partnership with New Ways Safeguarding to deliver therapeutic intervention and three new types of specialist therapeutic care services.

The New Ways Safeguarding service was established by the leading international forensic psychologist Dr Joe Sullivan to deliver swift responses where children have been exposed to trauma, where sexual boundaries have been breached, when families need support and when professionals seek expertise.

Their work with young people has been in both residential and non-residential settings and has included working extensively with carers, residential teams, families and multi-agency professionals.

Intervention is essential to help them to meet these needs in a different and positive way and learn new skills for self-management.

As well as the expertise of New Ways Safeguarding, we have a team of Programme Psychologists associated with our PSB Children’s Homes.

We have also introduced Community Psychologists to carry out any assessment and intervention work with children who are not currently in our care.