Whānau & caregivers

Behaviour is concerning or harmful if…

  • Others have complained about or have been adversely affected by your child or teenager’s sexual behaviour
  • Your child or teenager’s sexual behaviour is targeted at younger children or someone more vulnerable
  • Your child is displaying behaviour problems, uncharacteristic anxiety, bedwetting, nightmares, difficulties in focusing, clinginess and reluctance to be apart from you
  • Your child is showing signs of unexplained bruises, redness, rashes or bleeding from the genitals, anus or mouth
  • You have discovered that your spouse or partner or another adult is accessing, producing or achieving sexualised images of children or young people
  • Your spouse or partner is spending a lot of time alone with a child or young person outside the family and something doesn’t feel right
  • You suspect that your spouse or partner may be grooming a young person online
  • Sexual behaviours is being directed at you by a young person and you feel uncomfortable about it.

Some of the above information has been sourced and adapted from Ending Offending Together by Caroline Witten-Hannah, Frances Miller, John McCarthy

Safe Network’s services

Safe Network has a team of specialists with decades of experience working with concerning and harmful sexual behaviour. We can help you rebuild your life, and the lives of your family and whānau.

Safe works with you to help you understand your child's or family member's problematic sexual behaviour and what triggers their behaviours. We can help you to make sense of your feelings and the impact on the victim(s) and your family, and help you move your family and whānau toward a safe and healthy life – one that is harm free.

We work with adults and adolescents who have engaged in "hands on" harmful sexual behaviour and/or through use of the internet.

We also work with children who display sexual behaviour that causes others to be concerned because it is unusual for their age or it causes others to be uncomfortable, confused or hurt.

Our specialist services include:

Early intervention

Safe Network’s Early Intervention Service offers a specialist clinical assessment and invention service for boys and girls aged 5-12 years who have problematic or concerning sexual behaviour.

Many children engage in and display a range of sexualised behaviour that is healthy and normal for their age. But sometimes children engage in or display sexualised behaviour that causes others to be concerned because it is unusual for their age or it makes others feel uncomfortable, confused or hurt.

Youth & adolescents

Safe Network’s Youth Service offers a specialist clinical assessment and invention service for males and females aged 13-17 years who display concerning and harmful sexual behaviour.

Sexual development is one of many areas of change for adolescents. Adolescents engage in and display a range of sexual behaviour that is healthy and normal for their age. But when it is harmful, action should be taken to address the behaviour and prevent further harm.

It is easier to stop concerning and harmful sexual behaviour in children and adolescents with specialist help that directly addresses their age-appropriate and developmental needs.


We provide specialist services for adult males and females (18 years and over) who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour towards children.

We also work with adults who may not have engaged in physical behaviour towards children but have accessed, distributed and produced child sexual abuse images and films through the internet and social media.

Te Kakano

We offer specialist treatment services for children (5 – 12 years), youth (13-17 years), and adults (18 years and over), through kaupapa Māori therapeutic models of practice.

Approximately 25% of Safe’s clients are Māori. The services under Te Kakano have been developed by and are delivered by Māori practitioners for Māori clients. Safe also has the external guidance and oversight of a kaumatua.

Amanaki Pasifika

We offer specialist treatment pathways for Pasifika children (5 – 12 years), youth (13-17 years) and adults (18 years and over).

Our Amanaki Pasifika service has been developed and is led by clinicians of Samoan and Tongan descent who are fluent in their language and able to meet the clinical and cultural needs of this client group. We combine international best practice treatment solutions embedded in a Pasifika world view.

Women and girls

Safe offers specialist clinical assessment and treatment service for women and girls aged from five years old, who present with concerning and harmful sexual behaviour and for their families.

This service pathway spans the range of Safe’s service areas and was designed to understand and accommodate the specific needs of female clients by providing a gender-responsive and collaborative service that acknowledges the social and cultural realities of women and girls

What is the process

At Safe Network we want to make sure you get the help you need. It is important to assess whether Safe is the right place to provide that help. We conduct an assessment to find out about the individual, their history and the sexual behaviour that has brought them to Safe. Their strengths and resources will be assessed, as well as their problems.

Family members and partners are part of the assessment process. The effects of the concerning or harmful sexual behaviour, the safety of others and the needs of the family are all important factors for consideration.

Although assessment processes across the service areas may have aspects unique to the focus of that client group, all assessments are likely to involve the following:

  • Up to four interviews with the individual and their significant family members or support person(s)
  • Collection of information and reports from other agencies or professionals who are involved e.g. CYF, Police, counsellors
  • Completion of written questionnaires and psychological tests by the client and their adult family member or other support person(s).

Once the interviews and tests are completed, a detailed report is prepared. This will make recommendations about the person’s suitability for acceptance into Safe’s care. A copy of this report, including recommendations about the next steps, will be sent to the referring agency or person.

If an individual is accepted into Safe’s care, they will be allocated to a suitable clinician to undertake the intervention. Individuals are offered a tailored pathway within a suitable service that could range from 6-18 months’ duration. Each service includes all or some of the following:

  • Weekly group sessions
  • Weekly one-to-one appointments as required
  • Monthly family sessions
  • Annual intensive group therapy intervention of three days’ duration.

Expected outcomes

Our goal is to work with you to ensure you are able to lead a safe and healthy life.

This means that when you leave Safe’s care, we expect that you:

  • Do not commit further offenses of any kind
  • Take full responsibility for your offending behaviour
  • Gain acceptance as a safe, responsible member of your family and whānau
  • Are able to have safe intimate relationships with others
  • Have created a safe and healthy lifestyle

Research indicates that around 95% of adults1 and 98% of adolescents2 with sexually harmful behaviour who complete one of Safe’s services will not engage in any further harmful sexual behaviour.

  1. Community Solutions for the Community’s Problem: An outcome evaluation of three New Zealand community child sex offender treatment programmes, by Ian Lambie and Malcolm Stewart, 2003
  2. Getting it Right: An evaluation of New Zealand community treatment programmes for adolescents who sexually offend.  Ka pu e ruha, ka hao te rangatahi, by Ian Lambie, 2007.


Safe Network fact sheets

Introduction to Safe Network clinical services

Early Intervention fact sheet

Youth Services fact sheet

Adult Services fact sheet

Women and girls fact sheet