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A qualitative study of the practices and experiences of staff in multidisciplinary child sexual exploitation partnerships in three English coastal towns

Radcliffe, Polly, Roy, Alastair, Barter, Christine, Tompkins, Charlotte and Brooks, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5469-7769 (2020) A qualitative study of the practices and experiences of staff in multidisciplinary child sexual exploitation partnerships in three English coastal towns. Social Policy and Administration: An International Journal of Policy and Research. ISSN 0144-5596

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Abstract

This article presents findings from a qualitative study of the practices and experiences of people working in multidisciplinary child sexual exploitation (CSE) partnerships in three coastal towns in England. The study is based on focus groups conducted with 36 practitioners from a range of professional groups, including police, social work, substance misuse, education, specialist youth workers, sexual health, and statutory and non‐statutory children's services. The article begins with an overview of the three towns and the structure of their responses to CSE. It goes on to explore a range of factors, which contribute to the local issues around CSE and which affect and direct multiagency working. These include practitioner perspectives on CSE vulnerability, the discrepancy between young peoples' and practitioners' views about “exploitation”, a discussion of how CSE perpetrators initiate and develop contact with young people and the role of incentives—including drugs and alcohol—as part of CSE exploitation. We finish by drawing out some general conclusions.

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