The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

State and Local Agencies Are in Initial Stages of Addressing Needs of Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Report No. 15-06, June 2015
 
Full report in PDF format


  • Many commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) victims do not come into contact with the child welfare or criminal justice systems, and CSE cases can be complex and difficult to investigate. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) tracks child victims of CSE in Florida using hotline reports and investigations. However, the department’s hotline procedures and training issues limited the ability to count victims; by conservative estimates, there were at least 170 verified CSE victims from July 2013 to December 2014. The department reports that it has begun to address these problems.
  • To improve identification of children, DCF plans to implement a CSE screening instrument statewide. The Department of Juvenile Justice implemented an automated version of this instrument statewide in April 2015.
  • Florida statutes dictate that commercially sexually exploited children be assessed, and if appropriate, placed and served in specialized residential programs, such as safe houses and safe foster homes. However, a limited number of beds and eligibility criteria that exclude particular children present barriers to these placements. Daily costs for CSE victims are substantially higher than for others in the child welfare system. DCF should prioritize certification of specialized residential programs that serve CSE victims to ensure that programs are consistently providing statutorily required services to children.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Family Safety
Prevention and Victim Services
Victim Services
Florida Abuse Hotline

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 17-09 DCF and Its Lead Agencies Have Not Resolved Issues Related to Serving Commercially Sexually Exploited Children,published in June 2017.
  • Report No. 16-04 Placement Challenges Persist for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation; Questions Regarding Effective Interventions and Outcomes Remain,published in July 2016.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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