Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Andrea Nesmith


Social Work


There are various factors that influence the lives of sex workers, especially as they are trying to exit sex work. Frequently these factors lead these women to interact with social workers. The purpose of this project was to examine the experiences and preparedness/comfort level of LGSWs in working with sex workers. It also examined the perceived barriers to exiting sex work. Using a mixed methods survey, 61 LGSWs in Minnesota were surveyed about their preparedness to work with this population and their beliefs about the barriers to exiting. Data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The findings indicated that a small percentage of participants felt that they had been prepared by either their graduate education or their employers to work with this population. They also indicate that approximately one third of participants have previously worked with sex workers. Participants’ responses regarding the barriers to exiting sex work were largely reflective of the barriers indicated in the previous research. These findings illustrate the lack of preparedness to work with this population and point out a need for continued research in this area and changes in policy regarding social work education.

Included in

Social Work Commons