Child & Adolescent Harmful Behaviour Service (CAHBS)

About us

This service is for children and young people in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire about whom there are concerns in relation to Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB).

What is Harmful sexual behaviour?

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is developmentally inappropriate sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people which is harmful or abusive.

Children at any age display behaviours that cause concern for others. It can be difficult to talk about concerning sexual behaviour, particularly for parents who may not know who to turn to for advice. It is often difficult to know what is concerning, rather than healthy sexual behaviour.

There is evidence that the earlier young people get help, the more chance there is of preventing them engaging in further, potentially more serious behaviour. There is also evidence that getting the right support at whatever age can be helpful in recognising ongoing concerns.

Peer-on-peer sexual abuse is a form of HSB where sexual abuse takes place between children of a similar age or stage of development.

Who we are

CAHBS is made up of a number of different professionals who support teams working with young people and their families.

We support a joint response to problematic and harmful sexual behaviour to meet the needs of the young person.

What we do

We offer advice, consultation, and training for professionals. This includes health, education, social care, and criminal justice professionals.


Referrals will be made by professionals working with young people following discussion with parents, carers or young people about contacting us.

Following referral, we will talk to professional(s) to decide the level of support needed.

This will include:

  • offering advice and guidance
  • offering ongoing support to professionals
  • supporting or offering direct assessment or intervention

Useful links

There are a number of useful resources and websites you may wish to use prior to making a referral.

With some behaviours we would recommend that you use these in the first instance.

However if HSB still persists a referral may be needed. You may need to seek some informal advice around this.

NSPCC resources

NSPCC resources for keeping children safe, appropriate touch, personal space, healthy relationships and more.


Talk PANTS helps children understand their body belongs to them, and they should tell a safe adult they trust if anything makes them feel upset or worried.

Other helpful links

It’s always the right time to communicate openly and honestly with your kids

A useful resource to guide conversations and response at different developmental milestones.

Tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep your child safe online

A useful resource for supporting children’s online safety and conversations starters for parents/carers.

Guide to parental controls

A useful website on how to set controls on a variety of things as well as info on various problematic online behaviours.

Childline info and advice

Useful information and advice for supporting understanding of sex & relationships, puberty & bodies, and online & mobile safety – including ‘sexting’ and use of pornography.

Training and networking

We also offer training events through Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) and Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB).

We are also can consider training / networking that may be needed.

Non-urgent advice: Get in touch

Please see our referrals page for info on how to access this service.  If you would like more information, please contact:

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Page last reviewed: 29 April, 2024