This website assumes you are dealing with a young person aged 13, 14 or 15. You should, however, know what to do if the young person is outwith these age groups.

A young person under the age of 13 is considered unable to give valid consent to any sexual act. This means that any sexual act (sexual kissing, sexual touching, oral, anal or vaginal sex) involving anyone under the age of 13 is by definition a Child Protection issue, whether the young person has consented or not.

If you become aware that anyone under the age of 13 has been involved in any sexual act you must make a child protection referral.

A referral to Social Work Services and the Police is inevitable in such cases, and it is very likely that, during the course of further investigations, the young person’s parents will be told that they have been involved in sexual activity.

Prior to reporting the case you should explain to the young person that you intend to share information unless you feel explaining this to them would expose them to more serious risk. You should discuss the reason you need to share information, whom information will be shared with and the possible consequences (positive and negative) for the young person. You should listen to and try to deal with any concerns the young person may have.

You should also ensure that they get any counselling or support to protect their sexual health they may need.