Over the last decade, many (European) countries have created special committees or conducted special investigations into the occurrence of sexual abuse in residential and/or foster care. Many of these studies concluded that children and young people in care are at a greater risk of being sexually abused, compared to youth growing up at home. However, the extent and scope of sexual abuse which has historically occurred in residential and/or foster care remains contested and is highly controversial.

Although a broad range of factors are involved, one issue that is of crucial importance in the prevention of sexual abuse is paying attention to the healthy sexual development of children and young people in care. This sounds easy, but it isn’t easy at all. Ideas about relationships, intimacy and healthy sexual development differ between people and countries. It’s a sensitive subject that many professionals working in care find difficult to talk about. Our products aim to help (future) professionals build competences and confidence around lending support to the healthy sexual development of children and young people growing up in residential or foster care.

On this website, the products of a three-year (2015-2018) international Erasmus+ project can be found.


1. A document explaining the background and framework of het project (output 1)
2. a reflection instrument based on crucial core competencies (output 2)
3. Materials for those who teach in the field of social work (output 3)
4. an international summer school program for social work students (output 4)
5. an online course for professionals working in residential care or working with foster parents (output 5)

Research products as a foundation for the (content of) the courses and materials developed (output 6)

In a nutshell, the products help (future) professionals to talk about sex with children and young people in care, as well as with their caregivers.

Published by  Safe 1 April 2019