Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that Foster youth are particularly vulnerable to child trafficking, and few agencies have incorporated policies, protocols or case management techniques to prevent exploitation and appropriately meet the needs of trafficking victims.
Foster youth group homes have even been dubbed magnets for pimps. According to the Department of Justice, women and children make up as much as 80 percent of all trafficking victims, and thousands of child-trafficking victims exist in the United States.
States including Connecticut and Florida have shown alarming percentages of child-trafficking victims having been in the child welfare system.
In Connecticut last year, 98 percent of child-trafficking victims were involved in the child welfare system, with most reported abuse occurring while in foster care or group homes.
Similarly, the FBI estimates 70 percent of trafficking victims in Florida had been in the child welfare system.