Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Heidemann, Gretchen


Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a social phenomenon that is affecting youth in large numbers. This qualitative research study focused on professionals’ perceptions of readiness to provide services to CSEC youth based on the professional training and experience they have acquired. The professionals' perceptions were gathered through the use of face-to-face interviews. Participants were debriefed following the interviews and their participation was terminated. The data gathered from the interviews was analyzed using a bottom up approach through the use of open and axial coding. The study found that many employees had a lack of training in regard to CSEC and consequently felt ill equipped to provide adequate services should they encounter a CSEC resident/youth at the agency. Those employees that had training displayed a lack of knowledge about interventions that may be effective when servicing the youth. Per participants, this is attributed to the fact that many trainings did not address interventions. The findings of the research were distributed to the participating agency. The study makes contributions to micro and macro social work by enabling participants to better service CSEC clients and allowing agencies to support their employees in doing so. The study was conducted at one of many agencies that work with CSEC youth; in order to gain a greater idea of whether the study hypothesis is supported across agencies, a larger study must be conducted.

Included in

Social Work Commons