News

Young people’s participation – child sexual exploitation services

The Blagrave Trust is proud to be one of the funders of a research project by the Alexi Project into the nature and extent of young people’s participation and feedback in child sexual exploitation services.

The researchers have so far completed a comprehensive scoping analysis of the available literature which covers the meaning of the term participation, examples of practice, and evidence from young people.

Evidence of young people’s participation include: involvement in meetings relating to formal processes of assessment, review and planning; involvement in training, the development of resources and materials, involvement in policy development at local and national levels, and involvement in research and evaluation.

One of the most interesting findings is that there are so many understandings of ‘participation’ – and professionals’ interpretations don’t necessarily match that of young people themselves.

The research found that young people may not talk about ‘participation’ as such, but value the way in which CSE services recognise them as individuals, listen and take their views seriously, and provide a flexible and friendly approach.

But – as in many areas – there are gaps in our knowledge of how groups of young people who are less well represented in CSE services view participation, and how this can best take place.

For more, download the scoping report here