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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 409
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
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F.S. 409.1754
409.1754 Commercial sexual exploitation of children; screening and assessment; training; multidisciplinary staffings; service plans.
(1) SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT.
(a) The department shall develop or adopt one or more initial screening and assessment instruments to identify, determine the needs of, plan services for, and determine the appropriate placement for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation who are not eligible for relief and benefits under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 22 U.S.C. ss. 7101 et seq. The department shall consult state and local agencies, organizations, and individuals involved in the identification and care of such children when developing or adopting initial screening and assessment instruments. Initial screening and assessment instruments shall assess the appropriate placement of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including whether placement in a safe house or safe foster home as provided in s. 409.1678 is appropriate, and shall consider, at a minimum, the following factors:
1. Risk of the child running away.
2. Risk of the child recruiting other children into the commercial sex trade.
3. Level of the child’s attachment to his or her exploiter.
4. Level and type of trauma that the child has endured.
5. Nature of the child’s interactions with law enforcement.
6. Length of time that the child was a victim of commercial sexual exploitation.
7. Extent of any substance abuse by the child.
(b) The initial screening and assessment instruments shall be validated, if possible, and must be used by the department, juvenile assessment centers as provided in s. 985.135, and community-based care lead agencies.
(c) The department shall adopt rules that specify the initial screening and assessment instruments to be used and provide requirements for their use and for the reporting of data collected through their use.
(d) The department, or a sheriff’s office acting under s. 39.3065, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and community-based care lead agencies may use additional assessment instruments in the course of serving sexually exploited children.
(2) MULTIDISCIPLINARY STAFFINGS AND SERVICE PLANS.
(a) The department, or a sheriff’s office acting under s. 39.3065, shall conduct a multidisciplinary staffing for each child who is a suspected or verified victim of commercial sexual exploitation. The department or sheriff’s office shall coordinate the staffing and invite individuals involved in the child’s care, including, but not limited to, the child, if appropriate; the child’s family or legal guardian; the child’s guardian ad litem; Department of Juvenile Justice staff; school district staff; local health and human services providers; victim advocates; and any other persons who may be able to assist the child.
(b) The staffing must use the assessment, local services, and local protocols required by this section to develop a service plan. The service plan must identify the needs of the child and his or her family, the local services available to meet those needs, and whether placement in a safe house or safe foster home is needed. If the child is dependent, the case plan required by s. 39.6011 may meet the requirement for a service plan, but must be amended to incorporate the results of the multidisciplinary staffing. If the child is not dependent, the service plan is voluntary, and the department or sheriff’s office shall provide the plan to the victim and his or her family or legal guardian and offer to make any needed referrals to local service providers.
(c) The services identified in the service plan should be provided in the least restrictive environment and may include, but need not be limited to, the following:
1. Emergency shelter and runaway center services;
2. Outpatient individual or group counseling for the victim and the victim’s family or legal guardian;
3. Substance use disorder treatment services;
4. Drop-in centers or mentoring programs;
5. Commercial sexual exploitation treatment programs;
6. Child advocacy center services pursuant to s. 39.3035;
7. Prevention services such as those provided by the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services and the PACE Center for Girls;
8. Family foster care;
9. Therapeutic foster care;
10. Safe houses or safe foster homes;
11. Residential treatment programs; and
12. Employment or workforce training.
(d) The department, or a sheriff’s office acting under s. 39.3065, shall follow up with all verified victims of commercial sexual exploitation who are dependent within 6 months of the completion of the child abuse investigation, and such information must be included in the report required under s. 39.524. The followup must determine the following:
1. Whether a referral was made for the services recommended in the service plan;
2. Whether the services were received and, if not, the reasons why;
3. Whether the services or treatments were completed and, if not, the reasons why;
4. Whether the victim has experienced commercial sexual exploitation since the verified report;
5. Whether the victim has run away since the verified report;
6. The type and number of placements, if applicable;
7. The educational status of the child;
8. The employment status of the child; and
9. Whether the child has been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system.
(e) The department, or a sheriff’s office acting under s. 39.3065, shall follow up with all verified victims of commercial sexual exploitation who are not dependent within 6 months after the child abuse investigation is completed, and the information must be used in the report required under s. 39.524. The followup for nondependent victims and their families is voluntary, and the victim, family, or legal guardian is not required to respond. The followup must attempt to determine the following:
1. Whether a referral was made for the services recommended in the service plan;
2. Whether the services were received and, if not, the reasons why;
3. Whether the services or treatments were completed and, if not, the reasons why;
4. Whether the victim has experienced commercial sexual exploitation since the verified report;
5. Whether the victim has run away since the verified report;
6. The educational status of the child;
7. The employment status of the child; and
8. Whether the child has been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system.
(3) TRAINING; LOCAL PROTOCOLS.
(a) The department, or a sheriff’s office acting under s. 39.3065, and community-based care lead agencies shall ensure that cases in which a child is alleged, suspected, or known to be a victim of commercial sexual exploitation are assigned to child protective investigators and case managers who have specialized intensive training in handling cases involving a sexually exploited child. The department, sheriff’s office, and lead agencies shall ensure that child protective investigators and case managers receive this training before accepting a case involving a commercially sexually exploited child.
(b) The Department of Juvenile Justice shall ensure that juvenile probation staff or contractors administering the detention risk assessment instrument pursuant to s. 985.14 receive specialized intensive training in identifying and serving commercially sexually exploited children.
(c) Each region of the department and each community-based care lead agency shall jointly assess local service capacity to meet the specialized service needs of commercially sexually exploited children and establish a plan to develop the necessary capacity. Each plan shall be developed in consultation with community-based care lead agencies, local law enforcement officials, local school officials, runaway and homeless youth program providers, local probation departments, children’s advocacy centers, guardians ad litem, public defenders, state attorneys’ offices, safe houses, and child advocates and service providers who work directly with commercially sexually exploited children.
(d) Each region of the department and each community-based care lead agency shall establish local protocols and procedures for working with commercially sexually exploited children which are responsive to the individual circumstances of each child. The protocols and procedures shall take into account the varying types and levels of trauma endured; whether the commercial sexual exploitation is actively occurring, occurred in the past, or is inactive but likely to recur; and the differing community resources and degrees of familial support that are available. Child protective investigators and case managers must use these protocols and procedures when working with a victim of commercial sexual exploitation.
(4) LOCAL RESPONSE TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING; TRAINING; TASK FORCE.
(a) To the extent that funds are available, the local regional director may provide training to local law enforcement officials who are likely to encounter child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the course of their law enforcement duties. Training must address this section and how to identify and obtain appropriate services for such children. The local circuit administrator may contract with a not-for-profit agency with experience working with commercially sexually exploited children to provide the training. Circuits may work cooperatively to provide training, which may be provided on a regional basis. The department shall assist circuits to obtain available funds for the purpose of conducting law enforcement training from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the United States Department of Justice.
(b) Circuit administrators or their designees, chief probation officers of the Department of Juvenile Justice or their designees, and the chief operating officers of community-based care lead agencies or their designees shall participate in any task force, committee, council, advisory group, coalition, or other entity in their service area that is involved in coordinating responses to address human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children. If such entity does not exist, the circuit administrator for the department shall initiate one.
History.s. 1, ch. 2014-161; s. 5, ch. 2017-23; s. 53, ch. 2018-110.