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FAQ and Resource Guide for Parents and Caregivers: Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth


Problematic sexual behavior in children and youth is defined as behavior initiated by children and youth under the age of 18 that involves using sexual body parts in a manner that is developmentally inappropriate or potentially harmful to the individual or individuals impacted by the behavior.

A new Department of Defense policy expands the responsibility of the Family Advocacy Program to address problematic sexual behavior in children and youth. This change in policy allows the program to support families whose children or adolescents have exhibited, or been impacted by, concerning or problematic sexual behavior. It also allows the program to convene a multidisciplinary team to manage the coordinated community response to these behaviors, and recommend a safe way forward for all involved.

For Parents – Understanding Child Sexual Development and Concerning Sexual Behaviors

Learn more about child sexual development

Find ways for parents and caregivers to cope and offer more support

Talk with your children

Start early, and talk often with your children about healthy body boundaries to help them understand what safe and respectful interactions should look like.

Questions and Answers

Contact your Family Advocacy Program to assist your child and family with:

  • Information
  • Supportive counseling
  • Specialized resources

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