Julie Shaw, Claire Fitzpatrick, Katie Hunter, Jo Staines


Drawing upon original research data, the core task of this article is to explore some of the difficulties experienced by girls in care in England in having their exploitation recognised, along with the challenges faced by professionals from social care and criminal justice agencies in meeting their safeguarding needs.

The article provides a unique insight into the ways in which the perceptions and experiences of the two groups compare with the other, as both attempts to negotiate their own set of challenges within the confines of an inadequate and under-resourced system. It considers the sense of disconnect between the needs, expectations and perceptions of care-experienced girls and the care they ultimately receive, emphasising how experiences of stigma intersect with gendered and racialised judgements, creating a situation where they are viewed as less than ‘ideal’ victims.

Publication link

Full reference

Shaw, J., Staines, J., Fitzpatrick, C. & Hunter, K. (2024) The exploitation of girls in care: An ongoing struggle for recognition. Child Abuse Review, 33(3), e2886. Available from:

Linked Project

Disrupting the Routes between Care and Custody for Girls and Women –