This is a brief summary of the main intervention methods used with youth in a situation of sexual exploitation or at risk of being in this situation.
ARC : A sensitive approach to complex trauma
This approach proposes a flexible intervention model that promotes the resilience of youth who have suffered complex trauma while avoiding the exacerbation of this trauma. This approach proposes 10 components of intervention based on three fundamental domains of intervention, namely : Attachment, the Regulation of emotions and the development of Competencies. ARC is a practical and flexible guide that emphasizes important aspects to be developed with the youth and in the youth’s environment.
In addition, the 4R approach allows for the implementation of a trauma-informed program or organization:
Realize the impact of trauma and the importance of providing paths to recovery;
Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved in the system;
Respond to the needs of clients by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices;
Actively resist re-traumatization.
Also known as a motivational interview, this approach helps to equip the intervention workers in order to create a context that promotes change and develops the motivation of people who are ambivalent or have little desire to change. This approach is intended to be collaborative, since it puts the person and their goals front and centre, in order to reinforce their motivation to change their behaviours in a healthy way. To do so, the intervention worker must recognize, reinforce and
accelerate motivation throughout the natural stages of change, namely: pre-contemplation, contemplation, action, maintenance and relapse.
This motivation can be strengthened through the three following factors:
A strengths-based approach is founded on six principles :
Strengths can include aspirations, competencies, skills, knowledge, self confidence, etc. In addition, it is possible to identify external strengths, such as resources, environmental factors, relationships, etc. Identifying strengths allows the person in question to activate a “virtuous circle” to help them improve their quality of life, their self-actualization and their personal satisfaction. (MMIF, 2018).
Harm reduction approach
As the name implies, the foundation of this approach is to reduce the negative consequences of behaviour that is considered risky. The intervention worker offers a variety of resources to meet the needs of the person, using a self-management approach.
This approach, one that is not without controversy, is recognized for having positive results when all the principles of action are respected:
Tolerance of behaviour that is considered socially and morally controversial;
Use cost/benefit approach to assess risk behaviour;
Gradual harm reduction until the behaviour is eventually eliminated;
Meet the users in their environment;
Offer services and care adapted to their physical and psychological conditions;
Assist and support the users in the steps they are taking to become autonomous and in defense of their rights;
Intersectional feminist intervention approach
The intersectional feminist intervention model ensures the constant consideration of a person’s uniqueness and their personal experience.
To be precise, this approach centres on a customized intervention that goes beyond responding to emergency needs. Its focus is to take into consideration the social context of the underlying problems. This approach thereby identifies relationships of dominance arising through patriarchy, racism and colonialism to tackle the root causes of situations of inequality and exclusion.
An intersectional feminist intervention guarantees that all interventions addressing marginalized women “place them at the centre of the intervention.” They are considered “as the subjects of their life and not as objects through which power is exerted [approximate translation].” (Corbeil and Marchand, 2006).
More specifically, this approach focuses on:
Analyzing the interconnection of women's different identities (gender, ethnic origin, religion, etc.) and how these contribute towards different relationships of power.
Fighting all discriminations and barriers that women face.
Taking into consideration each woman's specific context of discrimination, whether it is historic, sociocultural, colonial, or other.
There are more than 400 intervention models that claim to be the best approach. Nevertheless, several models are based on principles that are very similar or complementary. As well, there are numerous studies that have focused on the efficiency of the different intervention approaches. The results of these studies are clear: intervention has more impact than no intervention, but the different approaches do not differ significantly in terms of results. What is essential is finding an approach that corresponds to the reality and the needs of the person at the centre of the intervention.
- CCSA, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2017). Motivational Interviewing.. Recovered from (PDF)
- CQJDC, Le comité québécois pour les jeunes en difficultés de comportement. (2017). Du côté de la recherche Accès 5 : Cinq forces d’un programme de prévention luttant contre le décrochage scolaire. Recovered from (lien PDF) (Only in french)
- Coleman, K., Collin-Vézina, D. et Milne, L. (2010). Étude sur l’incidence des traumatismes sur l’attachement, l’autorégulation et la compétence (ARC). Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Collin-Vezina, D. (2018). Le modèle ARC pour intervenir sur les traumas complexes. Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Corbeil, C. et Marchand, I. (2010). L’intervention féministe : un modèle et des pratiques au cœur du mouvement des femmes québécois. Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Institut national de santé publique du Québec. (2012). L’approche de réduction des méfaits. Recovered from (link) (Only in french)