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Whanau & caregivers

Safe Network provides a client-centred approach that typically involves support both for and from family, whanau, wider communities and professional agencies

Behaviour is concerning or harmful if...

Through a safe environment we help people work through and come to terms with their behaviour and learn ways to prevent the harmful sexual behaviour from reoccurring.

Areas of concern:

  • 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
  • you have discovered that your spouse or partner or another adult is accessing, producing or distributing 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 behaviour 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.

Safe Network works with clients and their families to help them understand their child's or family member's problematic sexual behaviour and what triggers their behaviours. This can include helping a family make sense of the feelings and the experiences they are having, the impact on victims and wider community. We help you move your family and whanau toward a safe and healthy life that is free from harm.

We work with adults and adolescents who have engaged in contact (hands on) harmful behaviour and/or non-contact behaviour through the internet or other social media.

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 specialised services include:

Children's service

Safe Network’s children's service offers a specialised 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.

hanga rereketanga o kiia

making a difference that counts

Youth & adolescents

Safe Network’s youth Service offers a specialised 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 factors that have caused that behaviour.

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


We provide specialised 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.

In addition to individual services for adults, Safe Network provides the following further specialist services:

Tikanga informed services for Maori

Safe Network offers our services for Māori and others through kaupapa Māori informed therapeutic models of practice.

Approximately 35% of Safe Network's clients are Māori. Our services for Maori have been developed by Maori practitioners for Maori clients. Safe Network also has the external guidance, oversight and governance of Māori practitioners, and relationships with various Iwi.

we believe in what we do; in our clients and their ability to change; in ourselves and in each other

Amanaki Pasifika

Safe Network offers our services for clients from Pasifika nations utilising clinical models embedded within various Pasifika cultural frameworks. Our Amanaki Pasifika service has been developed and is led by Pasifika clinicians who are able to meet the clinical and cultural needs of this client group.

Women and girls

Safe Network offers a specialised clinical assessment and intervention service for women and girls who present with concerning and harmful sexual behaviour, and for their families.

This service pathway spans the range of Safe Network'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.

We are about building stronger futures.


Safe Network offers services for those who have accessed, produced, or traded child sexual abuse material or who have engaged or communicated with children and young people online in a sexual context (grooming). Clients in this service include those who have engaged in contact and non-contact abusive behaviour.

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 Network 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:

  • two or three 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. OT, 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 one of Safe Network's services. A copy of this report, including recommendations about the next steps, will be sent to the referring agency or person where appropriate.

our focus is on delivering the best evidence-based clinical services that build confidence, create hope and develop trust, resulting in better balanced, healthy lives healthy lives for all

If an individual is accepted into one of Safe Network's services, they will be allocated to a suitable clinician to undertake the intervention. Our clients 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 (except for children and female clients)
  • weekly one-to-one appointments as required
  • monthly family sessions
  • intensive group therapy and adventure-based interventions.

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 have completed counselling at Safe Network, we expect that you:

  • are able to have safe intimate relationships with others
  • will no longer engage in harmful sexual behaviour
  • gain acceptance as a safe, responsible member of your family, whanau, and community
  • are living a safe, healthy and balanced life.

Research indicates that around 95% of adults1 and 98% of adolescents2 with sexually harmful behaviour who complete one of Safe Network'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