Child Sexual Development – When To Be Concerned & What To Do

Delivered by

Dr Anna Markham


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

4 hrs | 6 hrs (1 day) | 12 hrs (2 day)


This training can be adapted across a diverse range of contexts and participants, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary: 

There are rising concerns about problematic sexualised behaviours by children and young people.  This workshop is for anyone who wants to better identify and effectively respond to such behaviours, from educators, foster carers to health and social care professionals. The content can be adapted across a range of diverse contexts.

Sexual play and curiosity are a natural part of healthy childhood development and help children in learning about their own bodies, their identity and the relationships they have with others.  Attendees will learn about the various stages of child sexual development from infancy through to adolescence.  We will be exploring the questions: What is healthy? What is problematic? When should we be concerned?

We will learn about what might happen to a child that can interrupt healthy sexual development and why children might show sexualised behaviours outside of their stage of development.   We will explore the impact of current issues of the online world: the easy access to pornography; social media influences and special groups of children such as those with Autism or Learning Disability.

The last part of the workshop will offer practical advice and tools to support professionals in sharing their concerns and implementing safety planning.  We will discuss how to talk to children about sexual matters, the issue of consent and staying safe online.


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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Dr Anna Markham

Dr Anna Markham is a Principal Forensic Psychologist.  Her extensive clinical experience has been in secure mental health, Her Majesty’s Prison service and NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  She has worked across a range of settings including the youth secure estate, alternative education settings, community parenting programmes for children who are on the edge of coming into care or custody and children in contact with the youth justice system.

In addition to holding a doctorate in Forensic Psychology, Anna has undergone a range of specialist training courses including various therapeutic approaches including Multisystemic Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, Good Lives Model, Non-Violent Resistance Therapy and child specific risk assessment tools and models for harmful behaviours (AIM3 under 12s and technology assisted harmful sexual behaviours, JSOAP-II, SAVRY: violence).

Anna currently works at a specialist forensic service primarily in a consultation role supporting professionals who are working with children with complex needs and who present with high risk of harm to others.  Anna is also a Teaching Fellow and coordinator of placements on a Forensic Psychology Practice Doctoral course at a leading UK University involving lecturing, supervising trainees in practice and assessing competence. 

Anna provides external consultation and training to a variety of organisations including Her Majesty’s Prison Service and Local Authorities.  She is also an expert witness and undertakes assessments for court including complex developmental and relational trauma and how this can contribute to severe behavioural difficulty in children and adolescents.