Work with sexually exploited young people can be rewarding yet difficult. They can be hard to access, often presenting challenging behaviour. Sometimes it is painful to hear their life stories, whether these include abuse through the Internet or exploitation experienced through having been trafficked into and within the country.
Jenny J. Pearce draws on young people's voices to explore the difficulties that arise for researchers and for practitioners when working with sexually exploited young people. While child protection interventions must guide social work, she argues that other agencies such as health, education, housing and training each have a role to play in supporting a sexually exploited young person.
Challenging the uncritical acceptance of the child as victim, the book suggests `therapeutic outreach' as an approach to working with sexually exploited young people that can complement child protection procedures, support practitioners in the field and enhance the young person's sense of autonomy and responsibility during their transition to adulthood. The book advocates the relationship between practitioners and the young people they aim to support to be one of the most important resources in practice.
Young People and Sexual Exploitation will be essential reading for anyone interested in preventing the sexual exploitation of children and young people. It will be particularly relevant for academics, students, practitioners and policymakers in the fields of social policy and social work, child and family work, child protection and youth work.
Jenny. J. Pearce is Professor of Young People and Public Policy at the University of Bedfordshire; Director of the International Centre for the Study of Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Children and Young People; and co-founder/ member of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People.
Introduction Part 1. Sexual Exploitation: Theoretical Frameworks 1. Sexual Exploitation: Child Prostitution or Child Protection? 2. Current Policy and Practice: Achievements and Limitations 3. The Trafficking of Children and Young People: Implications for Work with Sexually Exploited Children and Young People 4. Adolescents in Violent Partnerships (AVP): Child Abuse and Domestic Violence? Part 2. Interventions: Practice Issues in Work with Sexually Exploited Young People 5. Risk and Resilience 6. Doing Research in the Field of Sexual Exploitation 7. Young People's Participation 8. Therapeutic Outreach