We co-host a Research Forum twice a year in London with Barnardo’s that aims to disseminate new evidence on CSE to an audience of practitioners, policy makers and academics. Lucie Shuker is a Senior Research Fellow in the International Centre, and has been coordinating the CSE Research Forum for the last five years.
Efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation have increased substantially in the last few years, and so too have the number of research projects dedicated to understanding CSE. It can be particularly difficult for front-line professionals to access the growing evidence base, and apply these findings to their work. As an applied social research centre we are committed to making evidence as accessible as possible, and have been running a Research Forum since 2010.
The aim of the Forum is to disseminate relevant research findings and provide a space for practitioners, policy makers and researchers involved in the field of child sexual exploitation to learn from one another in dialogue. The day includes three research presentations and one session where we hear from a practitioner. The mixture of listening and talking, research and practice, seems to work well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, discussion and networking often recur in evaluation forms as the highlight of the day. We’ve learned that people need enough time to digest what they’ve heard, and generally favour doing that in groups over questioning the speakers.
If you can’t make it to the Research Forum we’ve made sure that you can still download the presentations from our website. Previous presentations have included findings on gang-associated sexual exploitation and violence, online grooming, the vulnerabilities of children with learning disabilities and working with communities and families to raise awareness.
Other presenters have challenged the way we conceptualise CSE by exploring tensions between victimhood and agency, the difference between CSE and CSA, understanding consent, and fluid understandings vs. rigid models of exploitation.
An online booking system has replaced the paper cup we used to pass around for donations, but the Research Forum is still great value. We can make it affordable thanks to colleagues at the National Crime Agency who allow us to use their premises, and the administrative support provided by Barnardo’s, who partner with us to deliver the events.
To see the full range of presentations please visit our website or use the hashtag #cseresearchforum to get a flavour of people’s reactions to the last few events. We’d also love to hear from you if you have ideas for future research that will make a difference to protecting children. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
The next Research Forum will be on
4th July 2016. UPDATE – The research forum will be on 15th July at CEOP in Pimlico London. It costs £20 and you can book your place here
We hope to see you there.