1st Edition

The Criminalisation and Exploitation of Children in Care Multi-Agency Perspectives

By Julie Shaw, Sarah Greenhow Copyright 2021
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Criminalisation and Exploitation of Children in Care explores the results of a recent qualitative study, which focused on multi-agency responses to children and young people in residential and foster care who were at risk of criminalisation and/or exploitation and abuse.

    Recent high-profile reports have highlighted an urgent need for effective multi-agency work to tackle the issues of criminalisation and exploitation of children and young people in care. However, progress to date has been slow, and it is clear that there is still some way to go before effective multi-agency working becomes widespread. In response, this book draws upon the experiences and perspectives of practitioners from a sample of co-located Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs, as well as the latest research, theory and policy developments in the field. In doing so, it explores both the benefits and challenges of multi-agency working and concludes with recommendations for future policy and practice.

    This timely study will be of great interest to students and scholars of criminology, criminal justice, policing studies, social work, health and childhood studies. It will also be a valuable tool for practitioners and policymakers in the criminal, youth justice and social service arenas.


    Chapter 1: Setting the Scene


    Who is in care and where do they live?


    Child Sexual Exploitation

    CSE and Offending

    Child Criminal Exploitation

    Multi-agency working: the way forward?

    Chapter 2: Advantages and challenges of multi-agency working


    Failures in children’s services: A recent history of multi-agency working

    Current multi-agency policy

    Features of multi-agency working

    Definitions of multi-agency working

    Models of multi-agency working

    Factors relating to effective multi-agency working

    The challenges of multi-agency working

    Barriers to multi-agency working


    Chapter 3: Theory and Methodology


    Communities of Practice: A theory of multi-agency working

    Methodology: Qualitative approach

    Research Design: Methods

    Research process: sampling, data collection and analysis

    Ethical Considerations and Reflexivity


    Chapter 4: Criminalisation


    The continuing problem of residential care

    Placement movement

    Foster Care: positive perceptions and mixed messages

    The role of the police


    Chapter 5: Exploitation


    Vulnerability of children in care

    Forms of exploitation

    Residential care and exploitation

    The interplay between criminalisation and exploitation

    New Directions


    Chapter 6: Perspectives of MASH Team working: approaching a ‘community of practice’?


    Benefits of Multi-Agency Working

    Challenges of Multi-Agency Working


    A community of practice?

    Chapter Seven: Conclusion and Final Thoughts




    Multi-Agency Responses



    Julie Shaw is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University. Julie is an experienced researcher, with research interests including: the care system, criminal/youth justice and practitioner responses; child sexual and criminal exploitation and transitional justice. In addition, Julie is a former probation officer who worked both for a Youth Offending Team and with adults who were the subject of community and custodial sentences. In these roles, she worked with care-experienced children and adults, along with a variety of practitioners from the care, criminal and youth justice systems.

    Sarah Greenhow is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University. Sarah is an experienced researcher, with research interests including: the care system; youth justice and social work responses; vulnerable young people's use of communication technologies; and child sexual and criminal exploitation. She has also worked in various roles supporting young people who have experienced the care system, including in youth groups and residential activity schools.

    "It is ironic to say the least that local authority care, which is intended to offer vulnerable young people care and protection, too often instead has served to propel them into the criminal justice system. This book offers a lucid account of how the exploitation and criminalisation of young people in care can occur, together with the challenges for multi-agency working and recommendations for more effective approaches. Anyone working in the care and justice sectors will benefit from reading it." - David Berridge, Emeritus Professor of Child and Family Welfare, University of Bristol, School for Policy Studies

    "The phrase 'out of care, into custody' is one well used to denote one of the ways in which many young people find themselves on the road to crime and victimisation. Little work tackles the 'what can be done about this' question. In this original and ground breaking work Shaw and Greenhow chart ways of both understanding and influencing the ways in which multi-agency partnerships can make a difference to the lives of these young people. Focused on recommendations for action, it a book that must be read by practitioners and academics alike." - Professor Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, Liverpool University.

    "The Criminalisation and Exploitation of Children in Care addresses a major concern for those responsible for the safety and security of children and young people in residential and foster care. It draws on original research with practitioners from various agencies involved in the care and protection of young people to highlight the complex and multi-layered nature of the risks, and the need for more effective, multi-agency responses. This is a significant, evidence-based contribution to the field, which details important lessons for policy and practice in safeguarding children and young people in care." - Andrew Kendrick, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde