Human Trafficking and Child Welfare: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies

The growing awareness of human trafficking in the United States and abroad requires government and human services agencies to reevaluate old policies and develop new ones for identifying and serving victims. Due to their potentially unstable living situations, physical distance from friends and family, traumatic experiences, and emotional vulnerability, children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers who are actively seeking children1 to exploit. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare agencies be at the forefront of the response to and prevention of human trafficking. Additionally, recent Federal legislation established new requirements for child welfare agencies related to identifying and serving minor victims of human trafficking.

1 For the purposes of this report, the term “children” includes youth. The term “youth” is used when source materials specifically reference that population.

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