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Abstract: In 2013 the Kentucky legislature passed legislation that made the child welfare agency (DCBS) responsible for investigating reported cases of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children and responding to their needs, but gave them no additional resources. What is the nature of the CSEC problem in Kentucky? How do these youth come to the attention of DCBS? How does DCBS respond to their needs? It is not clear that this policy was designed in a way that it could ever be effective? Why did Kentucky choose this strategy? What can other states learn?
Learning Objective: This case focuses on analyzing and developing policies to address a complex problem that is difficult to identify, is not clearly understood, and has many potential causes. It involves coordination across multiple public agencies and non-profit organizations. It is complicated by the fact that the population group of concern are children, primarily adolescents. Students are challenged to analyze the situation, the policy that was developed and to design a more effective policy.