Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is a significant issue that affects children, families, and communities throughout the United States. Due to the illegal nature of the problem, it is difficult for law enforcement to identify victims of DMST and when they are identified it is challenging to provide them with services. Because law enforcement often encounter DMST victims through first response calls or within juvenile hall, it is important to understand the collaboration efforts between social workers and law enforcement in order to provide effective services for this population. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the perceptions of law enforcement officers regarding the involvement of social workers in DMST cases. This study used a qualitative design by collecting data through face-to-face interviews with 10 law enforcement officers from Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. This design allowed participants the opportunity to provide a more in-depth explanation regarding the involvement of social workers in DMST cases. The study found that there is a need for social workers to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to provide and advocate for services for victims of DMST. The study also indicated the need for transitional housing or other placement options for youth because the current alternative is incarceration.

Included in

Social Work Commons