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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Joseph, Rigaud


Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a menace for hundreds of children and youth in foster care and thus become a growing concern for child welfare stakeholders in the United States. Secondary Care Providers (SCPs) play a significant role in the lives of foster children entrusted to them. Among other functions, these caregivers are responsible for the safety and protection of the children and youth placed under their care. This study explored the relationship between training and experience level and ability to identify commercial sexual exploitation behaviors among 44 secondary care providers in Southern California (N = 44). Using the Mann-Whitney U test, this study tested four hypotheses related to the aforementioned variables. Results revealed no statistically significant difference in ability to identify CSE behaviors between SCPs who had more training and experience and those who had less training and experience. Moreover, descriptive statistics demonstrated that over 90 percent of SCPs reported a strong ability to identify and deal with CSE behaviors in youth. These findings should be considered great news for the much-maligned American foster care system.