King's College London

Research portal

A Qualitative Study of the Practices and Experiences of Staff in Multidisciplinary Child Sexual Exploitation Partnerships in Three English Coastal Towns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Polly Radcliffe, Alistair Roy, Christine Barter, Charlotte Tompkins, Matthew Brookes

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1230
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy And Administration
Issue number7
Early online date15 Apr 2020
Accepted/In press26 Mar 2020
E-pub ahead of print15 Apr 2020
PublishedDec 2020

King's Authors


This article presents findings from a qualitative study of the practices and experiences of people working in multidisciplinary child sexual exploitation (CSE) partnerships in three coastal towns in England. The study is based on focus groups conducted with 36 practitioners from a range of professional groups, including police, social work, substance misuse, education, specialist youth workers, sexual health, and statutory and non-statutory children's services. The article begins with an overview of the three towns and the structure of their responses to CSE. It goes on to explore a range of factors, which contribute to the local issues around CSE and which affect and direct multiagency working. These include practitioner perspectives on CSE vulnerability, the discrepancy between young peoples' and practitioners' views about “exploitation”, a discussion of how CSE perpetrators initiate and develop contact with young people and the role of incentives—including drugs and alcohol—as part of CSE exploitation. We finish by drawing out some general conclusions.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454