HT-RADAR’s ninth quarterly meeting was held on September 28 with about 31 stakeholders in attendance. Agenda items included two presentations, updates from Amy Sharpe of the new Health Subcommittee of the San Diego County Human Trafficking & CSEC Advisory Council, and a discussion led by Dr. Lianne Urada regarding partnership opportunities in research. Dr. Urada is an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University and the Research Subcommittee Co-Chair for the Advisory Council.
The first presentation was conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Chamberlain, who is an Associate Dean at Pacific Oaks College. Dr. Chamberlain presented her research entitled, “Moving Beyond the Ivory Tower: How a Community Engagement Project Built a Bridge from the Tower to the Community?” Brittany Greenbaum conducted the second presentation on her ongoing research entitled, “Trauma Domains & Psychological Adaptation in Sexual Exploitation.” Greenbaum is a CSPP Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology and an Associate at the Trauma Research Institute. For more information about Greenbaum’s ongoing research, please visit www.sexualexploitationstudy.weebly.com.
Exploring Mental Health & Substance use Treatment Needs of Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth Participating in a Specialty Juvenile Court
Mekeila C. Cook, MACP, PhD; Elizabeth Barnert, MPH, MD; Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi, MD; Kayleen Ports & Eraka Bath, MD
The study sought to: (1) describe the mental health and substance use profiles among participants of a specialty trafficking court program (the Succeed Though Achievement and Resilience Court); (2) describe youths’ mental health and substance use treatment prior to participating in the program; and (3) examine whether abuse influences report of mental health problems and/or substance use. Retrospective case review of court files was performed on commercially sexually exploited youth who volunteered to participate in the court from 2012 to 2014 (N D 184). All participants were female. Mental health problems and report of substance use was high among this population. Substance use differed at statistically significant levels between youth with a documented abuse history compared to those with no abuse history. Substance use also differed by report of mental health problems. Unexpected findings included the high rate of hospitalization for mental health problems and relatively low substance use treatment prior to STAR Court participation. Opportunities for improvement in critical points of contact to identify commercially sexually exploited youth and address their health needs are discussed.
Cook, M., Barnert, E., Ijadi-Maghsooodi, R., Ports, K., & Bath, E. (2018). Exploring mental health and substance use treatment needs of commercially sexually exploited youth participating in a specialty juvenille court. Behavioral Medicine, 44(3), 242-249.
Midwestern Service Provider Narratives of Migrant Experiences: Legibility, Vulnerability, and Exploitation in Human Trafficking
This exploratory study examined the vulnerability and exploitation of migrants from the perspective of service providers who work in social service organizations. Researchers conducted 16 interviews and 1 focus group with service providers whose clientele had direct experience with migration. These service providers indicated that there is incongruence, even tension, between a welcoming local response to migrant populations and the state-level political rhetoric and policy initiatives, which are predominantly anti-immigration. This study demonstrates that there are contradictions and tensions related especially to exploitation in Midwest migrant populations. Service providers acknowledged complexity in the problems related to migrant vulnerability and exploitation and were interested in change. Findings of this study highlight particular vulnerabilities of migrant populations, a lack of legibility of human trafficking in social service organizations, and a difference between political rhetoric and local responses to migrant populations. Policies and practices in social service delivery need to reflect the subtleties of risk for exploitation and offer broad preventive support for migrant populations through education and advocacy.
Chappell Deckert, J., Warren, S., & Britton, H. (2018). Midwestern service provider narratives of migrant experiences: Legibility, vulnerability, and exploitation in human trafficking. Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 887-910.
Jennifer Chappell Deckert, LMSW, is a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas, School of Social Work and an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. She earned a BA in Peace Studies and International Development from Bethel College and an MSW from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include global social work, mental health, migration, social work theory, and human rights. She is affiliated with the University of Kansas Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative, the Center for Migration Studies, and the Graduate Qualitative Working Group.
Educating Youth About Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Systematic Review
Cynthia Fraga Rizo, MSW; Lauren Bernstein Klein, MSW, MPA; Brittney R. Chesworth, MSW; Jennifer E. O’Brien, LCSW, PhD; Rebecca J. Macy, MSW, PhD; Sandra L. Martin, PhD; Marlowe E. Crews, LCSW; & Brittany Leigh Love, MDiv
There has been growing attention focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with many policymakers, practitioners, and anti-human trafficking advocates stressing the importance of educating youth about CSEC. To examine the state of the literature on educating youth about CSEC, and to determine key recommendations about this topic, we systematically reviewed the peer-reviewed literature. Only 13 articles on educating youth about CSEC met our broad inclusion criteria (i.e., included some content on educating youth about CSEC and was published in English before or during April of 2017). In addition to identifying few articles on the topic, only five articles were empirical in nature (i.e., collected and/or analyzed data), of which only one examined outcomes following participation in a program focused on educating youth about CSEC. Based on the existing literature, we highlight educational strategies and recommendations, including information on modality, content, target audience, content facilitator, and setting. Overall, this literature emphasizes that youth should receive education about CSEC, and that schools—particularly those focused on middle school, high school, and high-risk students—might be promising settings for such education. However, more research is needed to determine how best to educate youth about CSEC
Rizo, C.F., Klein, L.B., Chesworth, B.R., O’Brien, J.E., Macy, R.J., Martin, S.L., Crews, M.E., & Love, B.L. (2018). Educating youth about commercial sexual exploitation of children: A systematic review. Global Social Welfare, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-018-0119-7.
Cynthia Fraga Rizo, MSW, is an Assistant Professor and PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work. Her research interests include intimate partner violence (particularly among Latina survivors), child exposure to intimate partner violence, trauma, coping, social work with the Latino community, cultural competency, intervention development, and community-based research.
Opportunities & Resources
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