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Running head: FINAL PROJECT 1
SOWK 6361 Week 10 Assignment
Racquel Walsh
Walden University
Teenage prostitution is a social problem that greatly affects society presently. Prostitution
can be referred to as the act of engaging in sexual activity in the exchange of money, gifts, or
other valuables. Many young teenagers from certain neighborhoods/communities high in poverty
may use prostitution as a means to make income and to support themselves, while some teens are
forced into a life of prostitution against his/her will. Certain policies have been put into place to
help alleviate that social problem but have yet to halt the problem for many different reasons.
Despite the various laws that have been implemented to stop teenage prostitution; this social
problem continues to be a significant problem in the United States. Teenage prostitution is illegal
and goes against the various social values and beliefs, and also goes against child rights (Cohen
2017). In the United States, Teenagers under the age of 18 are considered children and are
protected by various child agencies and child protection laws. Protecting teenagers from teenage
prostitution has been very difficult being as a majority of legal policies are based on consent
which can be difficult to define. The Coercion and Enticement policy 18 USC 2422(b) prohibits
any individual persuading or enticing any individual that is under the age of 18 years of age from
engaging in sexual activity. A majority of individuals have fallen victim to this law because most
teens tend to break the law while knowing the implication, they offer their consent to engage in
sexual activity but later deny that they did.
My proposed teenage prostitution policy would address what can be done to resolve the
problem and recognizing consent. The proposed policy would also prohibit any adult from
engaging in sexual acts with a minor child including the making and distribution of child
pornography. Any individual that is found guilty of engaging in any sexual act with a minor
child will be subjected to criminal charges, child abuse charges, jail/prison time, and fines. If the
child is 15 years of age or younger than the punishment should a life sentence, and 25 years in
jail/prison if the child is 16-17 years old. After being released from jail/prison the offender must
remain on probation and register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his/her natural life and
must follow the laws set forth by the state that the offender lives in for sex offenders. If the
offender violates his/her probation or fails to adhere to the laws in his/her state for registered sex
offenders, then he/she will be sent back to jail/prison for 10 years. Heavy jail/prison sentences
such as the one being proposed could deter adults from engaging in teenage prostitution. The
teenage prostitute should be considered as a child that must be protected from sexual exploitation
and should be facing criminal charges (Saewyc 2016).
There were many accomplishments over this past quarter. I was able to have many
great conversations with key prominent stakeholders and law enforcement personals in the
organization that I work. The connection I had with my employment with the Department of
Family and Children Services for the state of Georgia allowed me to express my passion for
putting an end to child sex trafficking and child prostitution to end, by expressing my thoughts,
opinions, and ideas regarding various policies that could assist with ending the social problem
of child sex trafficking and child prostitution in the state of Georgia, all while still being able to
advocate for social change in the community I live and work in. Throughout this quarter I was
able to gather various statistics as well as information on past and current policies on child sex
trafficking and child prostitution and use my passion to end child prostitution, the information
that I was able to gather, and my policy proposal for social change that has started more
conversation on actions that can be taken to address the social problem I presented. I was able
to able express my ideas, thoughts, and opinions with various high-ranking law enforcement
Detective Jones from the special victims unit (SVU) provided a lot of insight into the
many things that are being done to combat child sex trafficking and child prostitution. Detective
Jones and I were able to sit and talk about the social problem, various things law enforcement
and Georgia state government are doing to combat the problem, how the problem is impacting
local communities, as well as services that are available to victims of child sex trafficking and
child prostitution. From talking to Detective Jones, I was able to get a lot of information about
needed support and resources that could assist with closing the gap between the community
and law enforcement. Closing the gap between law enforcement and the community is very
vital and would help a lot with ending child sex trafficking and child prostitution. The distrust
the community tends to have with law enforcement has a great influence on the level of
cooperation that the community has with law enforcement. Detective Jones and I were able to
discuss the need and importance of the community assisting law enforcement with finding the
source(s) of child sex trafficking and sex prostitution throughout the community that they live
in. After meeting and discussing the social problem with Detective Jones, I was able to gain
more insight on the seriousness of the social problem I presented, what is currently being done
behind the scenes and throughout the community, and what I can do personally to raise more
awareness on the problem. I was also able to gain more information on current policies and
laws on child sex trafficking and child prostitution in the state of Georgia.
Despite personal things that I had going on this quarter, I found this quarter to be very
motivating. Advocating for crimes, abuse, and neglect against innocent children has always
been a passion of mine. From doing this assignment, I did not at all expect that this assignment
would make my passion to end child sex trafficking and child prostitution would grow deeper.
This assignment has pushed me to stop thinking and worrying about the many barriers that way
be in the way and focus more on what I can do personally, raise awareness on the problem, and
advocate for more policy change. What began as an assignment in week three turned into
something that I want to advocate even more for. During this process, I have learned a few key
principles. The key principles that I have learned are, policy change and advocacy begin with
me, I may not be a political individual but a majority of policies are politically motivated. When I
think about the things I would have done differently, I would have made attempts to talk to
recused victims of child sex trafficking and child prostitution as well as talk to individuals living
in communities with high rates of child sex trafficking and child prostitution. Talking to rescued
victims would have given me personal insight on certain resources that could/would assist with
the recovery process and talking to individuals living in the communities with high rates of child
sex trafficking and child prostitution would have given me more insight on how the problem is
impacting their community. Having insight and knowledge that I would have gained from these
conversations could have given me more ideas on what to include in my policy proposal as well
as what changes to ask for in current policies.
The ways in which policy relates to direct practice is that they both require problem
solving and negotiation. When it comes to policy, oftentimes proposed policies are developed
and an alternative policy may be needed in order to address certain social needs. When the
alternative policy is selected over the initial policy, it can be considered as an indication that the
individual proposing the policy has to settle for a different version of their proposed policy so
that he/she is able to see some type of policy change. It can be said that this is similar indirect
practice whereas social workers are the individuals assisting individuals with being able to reach
positive outcomes. Another way in which policy can impact direct practice conflicts between
the social worker’s personal views and agency policies and practices. If the personal views of
the social worker does not align with the policies and practices of the agency, he/she works for
it could impact the way in which they render services.
As a social worker, I can assist my client(s) and community by promoting social justice by
advocating for social change. The professional commitment that I have to my client(s) in
addition to cultural competency, communication, as well as critical thinking skills will assist me
with being able to make certain that my client(s) will have access to needed resources. Taking
on every social injustice impacting society on my own is highly impossible, but as a social
worker, it is my obligation and duty to stand a stance against social justice and advocate for
social change. For me personally, one of the keys and major things that I can do is continue to
use the resources around to advocate for social change on the presented social problem and
raise more awareness on the social problem and the ripple effect that it can have on not only
local communities but society as a whole.
Department of Justice. 2001. COERCION AND ENTICEMENT (18 U.S.C. 2422)
Jansson, B. S. (2018).:Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social
justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Saewyc, E. M. (2016). Protection from Sexual Exploitation in the Convention on the Rights of
the Child.:Handbook of Children's Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 454.
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