Good sexual health for people with learning disabilities

Sex, sexual health and relationships training programmes

FPA delivers a training programme to support adults and young people with learning disabilities to understand sexual health issues.

We also work with the parents and carers of people with learning disabilities and the professionals who support them.

Our current programme is in partnership with Westminster City Council.

Why this project is needed

The sexual rights of people with learning disabilities have historically been ignored. Often, sexuality only becomes an issue to be discussed when there is a problem.

Coping with puberty, sexual identity and sexual feelings can be more difficult for people with learning disabilities who might be struggling to understand their emotions and their body.

We know from experience that people with learning disabilities want their need for friendship and relationships to be part of their care plan and health action plan. They want more information about sex, sexual health and relationships so they are safer and more confident when they access their communities.

Who we help

Adults and young people with learning disabilities, their parents and carers and their supporting staff. The programme currently runs in the London Borough of Westminster.

How we work

For people with learning disabilities we deliver one-to-one and group programmes on a wide range of sexual health topics, chosen by them.

Information leaflet for adults with learning disabilities (PDF)

Information leaflet for young people with learning disabilities (PDF)

For parents and carers we provide signposting information sessions and half-day training programmes to support them.

Information leaflet for parents and carers (PDF)

For professionals we deliver one, two or three day training programmes to support their work with people with learning disabilities.

Professionals who could benefit include support and community outreach workers, service managers and team leaders, teachers and learning support assistants, occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers.

We also deliver on-the-job training. This begins with one-to-one shadowing of a trainer during service user sessions and leads to progressive involvement the running of the sessions as well as carrying out individual planning and evaluation.

What people say about our programme

“I learnt about good touch and bad touch and about public and private spaces.”
Wail, service user

“I learnt not to hug staff and to say stop when people are behaving inappropriately ... I enjoy the group because I feel comfortable amongst friends.”
Luai, service user

“I have to force myself to think the ‘unthinkable’ and to imagine situations where I would not like my child to be lost or without an answer ... I think that every parent and carer should attend this course.”
Parent of 20-year-old man with severe learning disabilities

“The barriers around sexual health are being reduced, allowing people with learning disabilities to develop positive sexual identities and safer sexual behaviours.”
Service Commissioner

Programme aims and outcomes

  • People with learning disabilities will understand issues such as sexuality, sexual health and safety and have increased awareness on the sexual rights of adults with learning disabilities.
  • Parents and carers of people with learning disabilities will gain support and learn where to get information, help and advice in the community.
  • Professionals will be equipped to support people with learning disabilities to have healthy friendships and sexual relationships.

How we're funded

The programme is currently funded by Westminster City Council.

Who to contact

Information about the programme

Miguel Tudela de la Fuente, Project Manager
Tel: 020 7608 5273

To discuss working with FPA on a similar progamme please contact Miguel or find out more about what we can offer you.