How can child protection agencies identify and support youth involved in or at risk of commercial child sexual exploitation?

The second largest criminal industry worldwide (second only to drug dealing and tied with the illegal arms industry), human trafficking is the fastest growing of all criminal enterprises. The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is one form of human trafficking, affecting thousands of children and youth in the United States every year. (Exact numbers are difficult to estimate, given the clandestine nature of the crime.)

Although CSEC historically has been under the purview of law enforcement, the child welfare system increasingly has been called on to identify and serve victims. Recent federal legislation, including the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 and the 2014 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, underscores that shift. The Preventing Sex Trafficking Act requires child welfare agencies to develop policies and procedures for the identification of children at risk or victims of CSEC, and to provide appropriate services. Given the high risk for CSEC among children who run away from foster care, the act also includes a number of related provisions. Casey Family Programs. 2020  CLICK HERE