Combatting child sexual exploitation with young people and parents: contributions to a twenty-first century family support agenda
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AbstractThis article discusses family work with young people, parents and carers affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE). It seeks to address a key gap in child protection responses to CSE, namely family support which addresses the needs both of young people and of parents and carers. The paper presents learning from the evaluation of an early-intervention project with young people at risk of or affected by CSE and their families (D’Arcy et al., 2015). It links this empirical evidence to existing research and recent debates in the social work literature about what constitutes effective practice with families and young people. While acknowledging the need for CSE specialist services, it argues that separation between mainstream social work and CSE prevention work with families and young people is not always helpful. The research presented, based on interviews, roundtable discussions and a literature review, highlights the ways of working needed in this field. By connecting family support, work with young people and CSE prevention, we seek to contribute to a broader agenda for social work. This agenda calls for a twenty-first-century reconfiguration of social work using holistic family support practices that work with families’ strengths and apply a participatory approach, providing services which emphasise ‘relationships’ and ‘support’.
CitationThomas R., D'Arcy K (2017) 'Combatting child sexual exploitation with young people and parents: contributions to a twenty-first century family support agenda', British Journal of Social Work, 47 (6), pp.1686-1703.
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
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