An increasing number of young people are vulnerable to child criminal exploitation. As such, it is important to understand the decisions young people make, as well as the factors that may influence these decisions. Being able to highlight and identify these potentially harmful situations is of great value to both the individual at risk, and the practitioners who oversee safeguarding these young people.
In partnership with Doncaster Children's Services, this PhD research project, at Sheffield Hallam University, is looking to provide an evaluation for the ‘Change Your Game’ Virtual Reality experience. In doing so, the evaluation aims to highlight potential benefits in the use of new virtual reality technologies as a form of targeted intervention. The evaluation will gather anonymous background demographics of the selected young people and administer questionnaires to the young person before, during and after the experience.
The questionnaires before ‘Change Your Game’ will look to gather information on the young person's emotional traits and whether they have experienced any adverse childhood experiences. Following this, the young person will then answer questionnaires after two specific timepoints within the virtual reality project which are predicted to instigate an emotive response. The young person will also identify which choices they made within the virtual reality experience in order to track their decision-making process. From this, it is hoped that the young person's decision-making and their emotive responses can be mapped onto factors such as: background and adverse childhood experiences, which in turn may help the research predict which young people may a) be more likely to succumb to exploitation, and b) benefit from interventions.