The school nurse role in identifying and supporting young people affected by child sexual exploitation
Subjectschild sexual exploitation (CSE)
ecological systems theory
constructivist grounded theory approach
Subject Categories::B713 School Nursing
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AbstractThe current evidence base on the school nurse (SN) role in supporting young people affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE) is limited. Contemporary research highlights that identifying CSE is challenging for practitioners and young people. Disclosing CSE can be difficult for young people and so researchers call for practitioners to get better at identifying CSE. Furthermore, evidence shows that experiencing CSE has detrimental short and long-term consequences on children, families and their communities. SNs are experienced in identifying child abuse and neglect and supporting vulnerable children in schools, but the literature highlights that CSE can require additional and sometimes different responses. As such, the SN role in responding to CSE requires further exploration. This original research investigates this aspect of the SN role by utilising Charmaz’s (2014) constructivist grounded theory approach. Applying ecological systems theory and relationship-based practice to the analyses of the SN questionnaire and interviews with SNs and young people provides a unique in-depth investigation of the relationship between the influences on the SN role in school and on young people’s access to SNs. This thesis shows valuable insights into the influences that help and hinder SNs to support young people affected by CSE. The SN role is affected by how prepared and equipped SNs are to identify CSE and support young people experiencing CSE; the understanding of the SN role within the wider professional network; the level of school nursing services commissioned in school; and the influences on young people’s access to the SN in school. My recommendations are drawn from the key tensions and findings arising from my data. To provide effective support for young people experiencing CSE, SNs need to be adequately prepared and supported themselves. As such, a specific SN response is proposed. The ‘school nurse response to CSE model’ assists SNs to implement the recommendations and apply the evidence base of what works in responding to CSE. This model is ecologically informed, drawing on the influences on the SN role and young people’s access to the SN. This model outlines the education, training and support needed to equip SNs to identify CSE and support young people affected by CSE. The model also outlines SNs’ responses to CSE that maintain young people’s privacy and builds trusting relationships between SNs and young people.
CitationThomas, R. (2022) 'The School Nurse Role in Identifying and Supporting Young People Affected by Child Sexual Exploitation'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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