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Build a culture that supports people's sexual needs and keeps them safe from harm, says new report

27 February 2020
  • Public

How can adult social care services best support people to express their sexuality? And how do they keep people safe from sexual harm? Our new report, published today, looks at these issues and explores the link between the two.

In Promoting sexual safety through empowerment, we look at how a culture of openness can help people live fulfilling lives, with the freedom to develop relationships if they want to. We also explore how it plays an important part in keeping them safe, making it easier for them to talk about concerns.

We talked to people using services, families, providers, staff and other stakeholders

We began looking at this area because of what people using services and their families had told us about shocking experiences of abuse. As well as listening to people's experiences, we talked to providers, care staff and their representatives.

We also analysed the incident notifications we receive from care providers.

Our findings and recommendations

Our report gives examples of where services have helped people to talk openly about sexuality. It describes how this helps them to live independently - and how it identifies potential incidents before they happen.

It also sets out the findings from our analysis and our recommendations for change.

The report concludes:

  • a lack of awareness of good practice in sexual safety and sexuality can place people at risk of harm
  • a culture must be developed where people and staff feel empowered to talk about sexuality and raise concerns about safety
  • as the regulator, we must have a strong role in making sure people using services are protected and supported.
Last updated:
27 February 2020