Success and Impact

NCYL Leads Groundbreaking Research Into Housing Needs Of Youth Impacted By CSE

Playful, happy, looking young person

In 2018, NCYL partnered with Los Angeles County’s Probation Department, Department of Children and Family Services, and Cal State Los Angeles to produce a first-of-its-kind research report analyzing the impact of Los Angeles County’s specialized services for youth impacted by CSE, and exploring how different housing options affected stability and well-being of youth who had experienced CSE.

The stories, experience, and feedback of youth and survivors breathed life into the research, recommendations, and ultimate action. They provided a rich and complex picture of who the impacted young people are: their goals, interests, and hobbies; their friends and families, both birth and chosen; the challenges they have faced - through exploitation and beyond; and the resilience and strength that have helped them to endure and thrive. It highlighted the ways in which our quantitative data can fall short of representing the wholeness of the individuals impacted by exploitation, and the opportunities for system and community partners to support them to regain agency over their own lives and achieve their goals. 

It was critical to the research team that the voices, perspectives, and expertise of young people were centered in this research, in combination with the quantitative data collected from child welfare and probation. To do this, we surveyed over 120 youth, and conducted in-depth interviews and case file reviews of six youth. Youth and survivors participated in our follow-up Research to Action Summit, where we came together with a broad range of stakeholders to ideastorm actionable steps to turn the research recommendations into a reality. CSEC Survivor Advisory Board members provided feedback on our final recommendations and action plan. 

We thank these young people for their generosity and courage in sharing with us. The research, grounded in youth voices, includes:

CSE Research to Action Brief: Translating Research to Policy and Practice to Support Youth Impacted by Commercial Sexual Exploitation” (2020), which provides an overview of three years of collaborative research and advocacy efforts in Los Angeles County focused on safe and stable housing for youth impacted by CSE.

Using Data to Improve Outcomes for Children and Youth Impacted by Commercial Sexual Exploitation” (2020), a set of recommendations for improving systems and supports for youth impacted by CSE, developed by the California CSEC Action Team.

Recommendations to improve out of home care from youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation” (2020), a white paper drafted by NCYL that offers insights and recommendations based on surveys and interviews with young people involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and living in group homes.

Here’s a closer look at each of these resources:

“CSE Research to Action Brief…”

This brief includes an executive summary of a 2018 research report on housing and services requested by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as well as a research-based action plan that describes specific, actionable practices and policies aimed at creating safe and stable housing for youth in Los Angeles County impacted by CSE.

It was developed in partnership between NCYL’s Collaborative Responses to Commercial Sexual Exploitation Initiative and California State University, Los Angeles with funding from the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being.

“Using Data to Improve Outcomes…”

This report includes final recommendations of the California CSEC Action Team’s workgroup on Data and Outcomes to California's Child Welfare Digital Services. These recommendations will help to ensure the state collects and captures complete, accurate, and reliable data related to the CSE of children and youth in the state through updates to the current Child Welfare Services Case Management System (CWS/CMS) and development of the new California Automated Responses and Engagement System (CARES).

“Recommendations to improve out of home care…”

This report uses youth’s experiences, opinions, and perceptions of out of home care, with a focus on group care, as a foundation to identify what types of living situations are preferred and how out of home care can be improved.

Valuable insight

These resources provide valuable information and insight that demonstrates that without stable housing, already vulnerable youth are more susceptible to exploitation by traffickers. NCYL is proud to help lead in researching and educating policymakers and other professionals in these critical matters.