Course Profile

Course Profile: People with Learning Disabilities and Sexual Wellbeing (1-2 Days)
Talking about people with learning disabilities engaging in sexual relationships raises many anxieties for care and support agencies; there are often many fears around the person with learning disabilities being exploited or sexually abused. Whilst this professional response is understood, people with learning disabilities have a right to engage in emotionally and sexually rewarding relationships. This course will support staff in identifying and managing risks and anxieties; it will also equip staff members to provide targeted support to enable people with learning disabilities to live a full life.

This course aims to equip learners with the background knowledge so as to best support in this area in a way that maintains rights, dignity, autonomy and appropriate Safeguarding. The course is informed by The Mental Capacity Act; The Human Rights Act; The Care Act (2014); Scope UK; British Institute of Learning Disability; Family Planning Association; Outsiders; SCIE; RESPOND; The Code of Conduct for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers; DoLS; Down’s Syndrome Ass. ‘Adolescence & Sexuality’; Challenging Behaviour Foundation ‘Difficult Sexual Behaviour amongst Boys & Men’; the Sexual Offences Act (2003). The course is set in the context of the Care Act (2014), supports the Social Care Commitment and will help organisations meet the CQC Fundamental Standards.
The course provides some knowledge for
Care certificate: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13.2
QCF: HSC024; 026; 3019; SHC023; LD307
NHS KSF: Core 6.2; HWB1.2;
The course is designed for Health & Support staff at all levels, with responsibility for supporting people in this area or supervising others.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course learners should understand:

  • What the term ‘sexuality’ means (in the broadest sense)
  • Why the subject raises so many strong feelings when it is discussed in the context of people with Learning Disabilities
  • How to focus on professional responsibility and not get enmeshed in conflict between adults receiving social care support and personal values, religion, culture etc.
  • A range of definitions relating to sexuality and sexual expression
  • Sexuality as a human need
  • What sexuality gives the individual e.g. Self esteem, intimacy etc
  • How the denial of sexuality may negatively impact on the individual e.g. aggressive behaviour
  • How people with Learning Disabilities have traditionally been regarded and how sexuality was dealt with in Institutions (to include sexual abuse)
  • Infantilisation-How families and support workers can inhibit the development of the individual; regarding the individual as being non-sexual
  • The professionals and agencies that can assist in offering appropriate support
  • What support, information and/or education if any would be appropriate for staff to offer? How far to go?
  • References to organisational policy that would guide the worker
  • What is meant by sexual abuse and the different ways this could happen
  • Power imbalances in relationships – when does this become abusive?
  • How to respond to a suspicion of sexual abuse/exploitation. The organisation’s procedures
  • Working within the law

  • On the two day course the additional day will take workshop form and a range of case studies and issues will be explored. The content includes:

  • An introduction to working positively with Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender people and people who may be questioning their gender or sexuality
  • How to support same-sex relationships
  • How to support two service users in a relationship
  • How to provide information/support: Menstruation, Contraception, Pregnancy, Termination etc
  • The complexity of childbirth, child rearing, adoption and fostering
  • How to respond to behavior in public e.g. masturbation
  • The use of pornography, sex aids and sex workers
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • ‘Perversion’ and offending behaviour
Training methods utilised include: Tutor presentations, DVD, Chalk & Talk, Role play, Handouts, Small and larger group work, PowerPoint, Feedback, Practice examples, Quiz