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Abstract

Children who have been commercially sexually exploited are a vulnerable population, often in need of housing services. However, little is known about housing services for this population. To address this gap, the current study aims to further the understanding and knowledge about housing services for children who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in the U.S. Through a structured online search and review of the research literature, we identified 56 programs thought to be serving children who have experienced CSE in the United States. Agencies were asked to complete a brief semi-structured survey on their services for youth who have been commercially sexually exploited. Of the 56 programs, 43 programs were still active and targeted for recruitment. 16 programs completed the surveys (37% response rate). Findings from the survey included variations across programs in lengths of stays and type of housing services offered, few formal protocols for data collection and evaluation, and generally strong support for the use of survivor mentors. Based on our literature review and survey analysis, we provide recommendations for implementing potentially effective new housing services and suggest some useful strategies for developing rigorous program evaluations.

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