Course Details

Assessing the partners of suspected or convicted sex offenders poses specific and significant challenges: managing complex relationships, balancing competing responsibilities and handling associated risks are just some of the issues faced by social workers and other professionals working in the field of child sexual exploitation.  

This course draws on over 30 years’ experience in undertaking partner assessments as well as highlighting current research, to provide participants with unique insights and practical tools.

Topics covered include:

  • An integrated model for understanding child sexual exploitation
  • Is denial inevitable?
  • Tactics used by offenders to manipulate and silence partners and professionals
  • How much do partners really know – the continuum of awareness
  • Why some parents choose their partner over their children
  • Safeguarding Assessments – what should they look for?
  • Implications for the all the children
  • How professionals can manage the abusive dynamic
  • Is family reunification possible?
  • Protective partner programmes
  • Help maintain change
  • How to help all in a complex family dynamic
  • How to engage positively with the accused and his/her partner  

This course provides participants with a practical insight into the reasons why parents often struggle to prioritise their children over an abusive partner. The needs of the protective parent at this complex and confusing time will be examined. In addition, it looks at the dynamic between mothers and their children and assists in understanding the complex system of ‘victim blaming’ and ambivalent maternal support. By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the key factors any safeguarding assessment should consider
  • Consider mothers as abusers and fathers as protective parents
  • Understand the grooming legacy and consider its level of endurance
  • Work more effectively with the partner dynamic
  • Employ tools to help shift denial and minimisation
  • Evaluate relationship patterns and examine persistent, unhelpful behaviours
  • Explore and improve mother/child connections
  • Identify criteria necessary for family reunification (where applicable)
  • Determine where intervention is necessary and what it should look like
  • Maintain change
  • Help all in a complex family dynamic
  • Engage positively with the accused and his/her partner

Reviews of this Course

I found this really interesting and informative, I will apply my newly acquired skills to future assessments.

Social Worker

Very informative and provided tools which I will use when assessing risks posed by perpetrator and potentially protective partner.

Social Worker

Incredibly relevant training which has highlighted gaps in my own and colleagues training. This should be available to all of the team. Delivered in a compelling and articulate way which held my interest throughout the two days.

Social Worker

Relevant, thought provoking and affirming.

Social Worker

The information provided during the session was incredibly informative, as was the advice and support provided.

Social Worker


For more information, call +44 (0) 203 468 1722 or email