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‘An uncomfortable comfortableness’: ‘care’, child protection and child sexual exploitation

Hallett, Sophie ORCID: 2016. ‘An uncomfortable comfortableness’: ‘care’, child protection and child sexual exploitation. British Journal of Social Work 46 (7) , pp. 2137-2152. 10.1093/bjsw/bcv136

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This paper reports findings from a qualitative research inquiry into child sexual exploitation (CSE) involving young people with experiences of CSE. The paper considers how ‘care’—understood as an act, an orientation and/or set of relations (including statutory responsibilities at the level of the local state)—featured as a recurrent theme across the data in respect of the ways in which participants made sense of the problem of CSE, why they were vulnerable and at risk, and the ways in which people should respond to such risks. Findings suggest that young people who are without care and recognition from protective adults, and who are not permitted as active agents in setting the terms of their own support, are vulnerable to CSE. Not only do adult care-giving and practices of child protection feature in participants' accounts as being part of the problem, but they suggest that the instigation of these practices, made as a response to CSE, can ignore and serve to compound that which they are attempting to prevent and disrupt. There is an urgent need for care responses to address the complex underlying issues behind CSE, and to open up the possibility of interventions beyond narrow child protection responses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 4 November 2015
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 05:06

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