A Guide to Implementing & Evaluating Services for Youth Experiencing Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Supporting the holistic needs of children and youth experiencing commercial sexual exploitation requires thoughtful collaboration and assessment among agencies. This includes understanding if services provided to children and youth are helping them thrive.

The National Center for Youth Law, in collaboration with Los Angeles County and researchers from California State University, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, has developed an implementation and assessment guide to assist jurisdictions with implementing and evaluating the services provided by specialized units with child welfare and juvenile justice settings for youth experiencing commercial sexual exploitation, also referred to as CSE. 

The guide details an evaluability assessment of the specialized units in Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Los Angeles County Probation Department, and includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and logic models outlining the main components and activities of the specialized units for youth experiencing CSE
  • Key federal, state and local laws and policies related to CSE
  • An original youth survey, developed in partnership with lived experience experts from the CSEC Action Team’s Advisory Board and youth, which is aimed at ensuring young people’s voices and experiences are sought out in evaluating specialized services
  • A sample database to capture critical outcome data
  • Recommendations for implementation and evaluation activities for other jurisdictions 

The guide is free to download and distribute. It is made possible by the National Institute of Justice and done in collaboration with partners at California State University, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, the Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. 

A youth engagement tip sheet is also provided and recommended alongside use of the survey and guide.