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Will More Research on why Women Prostitute Help Combat this Crime?

Outreach worker Rochelle Booker offers a prostitute advice. Photo courtesy of recently ran this article on a researchers who are trying to determine why women prostitute themselves on Wilmington’s streets.

The article’s headline said social workers were collecting the prostitutes stories but the article focused mainly on Rochelle Booker, an outreach worker for Brandywine Counseling and Community Services (which does have social workers on staff).

Booker, a former drug addict who had sold her body, drives to areas where prostitutes gather and offers them condoms, toiletries and other assistance.

The article had input from at least one social worker. National Association of Social Workers member Stephanie Wahab, DSW, an associate professor at the Portland State University School of Social Work, said studies have not proven the effectiveness of diversion programs in stopping women from prostituting.

Stephanie Wahab

Diversion programs offer women drug counseling, housing, legitimate work and other services to get them out of prostitution. Wahab found troubling evidence when she did research on a diversion program in Utah, the article said.

“Essentially, women were still working while they were still in the program,” Wahab said.

Participants in the Delaware program acknowledge this concern. They said their research will not eradicate prostitution but should help reduce the number of prostitutes on area streets, the article said.

Q: Social Workers, do you think collecting data on why women are involved in prostitution will help social workers and others devise strategies to help them stop?

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1 Comment

  1. To Ms S. Wahab,

    I am a year three social work student at the University of Kent at Medway in England. I am currently writing a 3000 word paper on qualitative social work. We were told to select an article that interests us and I have chosen you’re ‘Tricks of the trade: What Social Workers Can Learn about Female Sex Workers though Dialogue’. The paper criterion requires us to give a summary of the methods used and the findings. I have to include a critique of the article but the main focus is on the methods and theories used.
    Could I ask, what methods do you feel you used to address the questions posed in the article?
    Also what approach did you use to analyse the data and do you feel it was effective?
    How significant would you argue this study is in regards to social work practice?
    I have read the article several times and made notes so I feel I know the answers to these questions but it would be very helpful and indeed an honor to hear back from you.

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