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Practitioners’ Subjective Experiences of Child Protection Residential Care: After Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act
Sexually exploited children and adolescents
residential agencies for sexually exploited children and adolescents
child protection practitioners from residential agencies
Since the legislative spirit of the “Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act” and its intervention model has gradually lost its suitability, the “Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act” officially went into effect in 2017. As the new act emphasizes that sexually exploited children and adolescents are victims, will the child protection practitioners from residential agencies adjust their caretaking models and ideologies to the belief and value changes in the new act? Or will they still view the children and adolescents as criminals and implicitly take a controlling approach when offering care? Thus, the researcher invited six child protection practitioners from residential agencies to share their subjective experiences in order to understand residential agencies’ caretaking models, their views on sexually exploited children and adolescent, the impacts of the new act, difficulties faced in direct practice and policy implementing and their advice. The research findings are as follows: 1.The current intervention model of child protection practitioners from residential agencies: The services currently offered by child protection practitioners from residential agencies are basically the same as mentioned in past literatures. Yet, after taking a deeper look, part of the practitioners are willing to take a more respectable approach then the old, controlling approach. However, if new regulations pose a threat to the children and adolescents’ safety or confidentiality, then the agencies would feel uneasy about becoming less restrictive. 2.The child protection practitioners’ experiences in direct practice: How they view sexually exploited children and adolescents is mostly influenced by familial factors, and then comes peer relationships and personal factors. As for how they view children, adolescents and work in residential agencies, their views are related to work experiences from the past, training offered by the agencies and the expectations of the agencies. 3.The impacts of the “Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act”: Whether the agencies offer training courses and the assistance of external supervisors has a noticeable relation to practitioners’ understanding of the new act. The research shows that practitioners from residential agencies are still in the phase of ideology absorption and that they still have contradicted feelings towards learning, understanding and using the new ideologies. 4.The main reasons the new act has little impact on the intervention models of residential agencies for sexually exploited children and adolescents are because practitioners still mostly take a problem-solving intervention approach, the blaming attitude towards how new ideas affect the agencies and society’s inability to recognize sexualizing and objectifying ideologies. Based on these findings, the researcher offers advice for direct practice and organizations as reference for future direct practice and policy making.
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