Expert Opinions: CSE and Trafficking

Serving Florida’s Sex Trafficking Victims: Moving Beyond Service Gaps to Coordinated Systems of Care

The Services and Resources Committee of the Florida Statewide Council on Human Trafficking has released its supplement to the 2016 annual report on human trafficking response in Florida. The committee found that Florida’s current system of care to serve victims of sex trafficking remains fragmented, and the state’s ability to strategically manage care and leverage services for survivors is weak. In order to better serve victims of sex trafficking, the committee has found that Florida should create a centralized, coordinated system to facilitate the continuity of services and improve outcomes for survivors. The committee additionally highlighted Voices for Florida’s Open Doors model as a promising structure for coordinated care, and recommended that the Open Doors facilitators be given time to operationalize the model and initiate service delivery. Read More

Interventions and Outcomes Remain Questionable for Florida’s CSE Children

Following up on a 2015 report, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) has released a report detailing the existing gaps in services and placement challenges for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in the state. OPPAGA’s report found that many of the CSE children identified in the 2015 report have since either been re-victimized, have interacted with the criminal justice system, or have not consistently attended school, drawing questions about effective treatment and outcomes for these children. The report illuminated the significant problems lead agencies have in placing CSE children in designated safe houses and safe foster homes, and found that traditional child welfare programs and CSE placements may not be suitable for CSE children due to the complex mental health and substance abuse needs they often face. Read More

Adults, Agencies Failed Alyssa Beck

Growing up in Jacksonville, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking. Now 21, she courageously speaks about her victimization and how much of what she experienced could have been prevented had the government seen her as a victim, instead of as a criminal. With the Florida’s Safe Harbor Law now in place and VFF’s own Open Doors Network starting next year, the chances of another Alyssa Beck are shrinking as victims are being connected with the services they truly need and are being seen as the victims they really are. Read More

Just 21, Human-Trafficking Survivor Alyssa Beck has Lived a Life Most Cannot Imagine

Before she was 15, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking, and before she was 21, she had spent nearly three years in jail. In this article, Alyssa’s history with trafficking, the Juvenile Justice system and treatment is examined in-depth, as is her recovery and growth into the strong advocate for victims of human trafficking she is today. Read More

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