This report presents the methodology and findings of a formative, participatory evaluation of New York City's demonstration project of the Coalition to Address the Sexual Exploitation of Children (CASEC), which focused on child prostitution in the city.
One of the main CASEC successes was the development of a new task force that assembled a broad and previously decentralized array of stakeholders that have regular contact with sexually exploited youth. Stakeholders reported that their task force participation enabled them to know who and what number to call when they needed a particular type of assistance in serving sexually exploited youth. The task force also enabled participants to work together in developing a coordinated citywide response to child prostitution. The CASEC also successfully implemented protocols for the specialized prosecution of CSEC exploitation cases. After identifying housing as the single greatest need, the CASEC facilitated funding for emergency short-term beds for youths ages 16 and older. In addition, CASEC funding enabled the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program in Queens to assist over 30 young women to obtain counseling and service referrals that focused on their involvement in prostitution. Although CASEC experienced a number of successes, several significant obstacles impeded its work. First, several administrative or bureaucratic developments that arose from outside the CASEC task force adversely affected its work, producing delays, interruptions, or failure to implement planned initiatives. Second, a lack of timely, accurate, and routinely collected data on CSEC victims, exploiters, and solicitors forced the task force to rely on anecdotal information. Third, several initiatives had to be terminated due to lack of ongoing funding. In addition to examining the project's goals, operations, strengths, weaknesses, and obstacles to success, the evaluation conducted a quasi-experimental analysis testing of prosecution outcomes after the implementation of the enhanced prosecution initiative in Queens. Extensive tables and figures, 121 references, and appended evaluation instruments and logic model
Date Published: September 1, 2008
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