The Florida Child Welfare System is involved in sex trafficking

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As the recently re-elected Governor Ron DeSantis (R) continues Demonizing drag queensWith trans children and queer people in general posing a threat to Florida’s children, a teen sex trafficking crisis in the state is metastasizing under his stewardship.

according to a stunning new report published in South Florida Sun Sentinel Monday, Florida’s foster care system has for years proved a breeding ground for sex trafficking victims, putting vulnerable children and youth directly at risk of drug use, sexual and physical violence, and often death. Even more damning is the revelation that Florida’s elected officials have been doing well for a long time aware of the crisis and have done little to nothing to save the state’s most vulnerable girls.

That Guardian‘s analysis of data from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) showed that when a girl enters the state’s welfare system, her chances of becoming a victim of sex trafficking increase. Florida is already a “top spot” for human trafficking due to high tourism and hotel traffic, and has seen an alarming increase in child sex trafficking reports to the Florida Abuse Hotline in the last year alone, with 3,182 reports. Despite the increased risk, as of last month, the Guardian There are reportedly only 18 family foster homes in the entire state that are licensed to care for victims of human trafficking and documents obtained by the Guardian show that the state has known for years that sex traffickers specifically target underage girls in their care.

Jayden Alexis Frisbee, the Guardian reported, is one of the girls lost to Florida’s welfare system. She died last year aged 16 after being moved back and forth between 16 different group care homes over the course of a year and a half only to keep running away and fall prey to local sex traffickers. After being beaten, abused and drugged, she died in the bathroom of a motel in Jacksonville Studio 6. She had become the responsibility of the state, but fAfter her death, it took officers over a month to identify her body.

The inadequate care and concern well Documented about the DCF is partly due to the Florida lLegislature’s 1998 decision to privatize the care system. Each district works with a private contractor who then hires subcontractors to operate group homes. This vote, the Guardian explained, came after years of negative headlines about “neglected, abused or missing children” in the foster care system had sparked public outrage. The transfer of power to private organizations was thus a means of “distraction”.[ing] Blame away from the state.”

Alongside ignoring warning signs and telling stats about the increasing number of teenage girls succumbing to nearby sex traffickers, the Guardian also found that the DCF had exploited a loophole to continue sending teenage girls to residential groups, often in unsafe areas where human traffickers live “Hai” up the block lurking for girls taking a trip down the street to a supermarket. Young people who had a history of sexual exploitation or abuse were even more likely to run away from group homes, increasing their chances of becoming victims of human trafficking. Of the 355 foster children the Guardian were studying, 82% fled while under state care. This probability increased in group homes.

Meanwhile, DeSantis continues to foment moral panic over drag queens teaching children sexual deviance, or whatever they call it these days. He’s busy sending migrantsincluding children, to Martha’s Vineyard and overseeing a public school system violently using posters of black heroes like Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr AWAY from classrooms. Under his supervision a newly appointed sTate Board of Education Council was occupied by right mothers ecstatic about it maintenance DeSantis’ “curriculum transparency” agenda, which includes a war on transgender people student athletes and a Ban on gender-affirming therapies and surgeries for minors.

With an opportunity to fulfill a promise that’s been parroted to voters for years, DeSantis and co. looked the other way, leaving a staggering number of girls in foster care to a fate that was both predictable and avoidable. The Florida Child Welfare System is involved in sex trafficking

Adam Bradshaw

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