Child Sexual Exploitation: Problems and Perspectives

Thursday 7 March 2013, 11.30AM to 4.00pm

Speaker(s): Keynote speakers from the Institute of Applied Social Research at the University of Bedfordshire: Margaret Melrose, Professor of Social Policy and Applied Social Research; Dr Helen Beckett, Research Fellow; Dr Lucie Shuker, Research Fellow.Chaired by: Paul Dyson, Independent Social Worker.

Event synopsis

Child sexual exploitation

A research team based in the International Centre for Young People, Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire has researched issues related to child sexual exploitation for approximately 15 years and has developed a considerable body of expertise in this field. Over this period this issue has risen up the political agenda and government guidance now requires that all LSCBs develop appropriate strategies to safeguard young people, target those responsible for exploiting them and raise community awareness of the issue to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and young people.

At this event

Professor Melrose draws on a study of LSCB responses to child sexual exploitation that was conducted by a team at the University of Bedfordshire. The study found that a significant proportion of LSCBs were not implementing government guidance and further that confused understandings of the issues amongst some practitioners limited their ability to identify child sexual exploitation in practice.

Dr. Shuker considers the relationship between risk of exploitation and the care system, suggesting that safeguarding responses should not achieve short-term physical safety at the expense of relational and psychological security. She will draw on emerging findings from an evaluation of a 2 year DfE funded specialist foster care programme for sexually exploited and trafficked young people which is being delivered by Barnardos.

Dr. Beckett presents the interim findings of a large-scale study of gang associated sexual exploitation and sexual violence in England currently being undertaken by a team at the University of Bedfordshire. The study explores young people's experiences of sexual violence and exploitation within youth gangs, analysing these with reference to the 'rules' of the gang environment and the wider phenomenon of peer sexual violence.

Location: Pavilion Hotel, York

Admission: See flyer for details


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