Foster Care & Human Trafficking

FACTSHEET: FOSTER CARE AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

WHAT IS FOSTER CARE?

A system to care for children who are (a) removed from their parents/guardians, or (b) surrendered to the state by their parents. These children are placed with non-relative foster families, relatives, or group homes and institutions in exchange for a stipend.

Foster care is supposed to be short-term until either the child is reunified with the biological family (when conditions are safe) or is adopted by a loving family. However, the average length in foster care is nearly two years. Some children are never reunified or adopted. They spend their childhood with no real family.

Snapshot of Foster Care: 2013 United States California
# of foster children on September 30th 399,456 54,388
…as % of all children 0.5% 0.5%
# of children waiting for adoption 101,719 13,000
# of new terminated parental rights 58,587 6,578
# of children adopted 52,039 6,208
Average age of foster child 9.1 11

 WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

Human trafficking is a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for sexual servitude and forced labor. It is said to be a $32 billion worldwide industry, and the fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world today (second only to drug trafficking and tied with illegal arms).

Human Trafficking Numbers In California
72% of 1,277 victims identified are from the United States
Average age of entry to sexual exploitation:
Boys: 11 to 13 years
Girls: 12 to 14 years

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN FOSTER CARE AND SEX TRAFFICKING?

Foster care children are targeted by traffickers because of their need for love, affirmation, and protection.

Victims are trained to call sex traffickers “daddies” and themselves “wifies” – a perverted reflection of the family unit that these children are seeking.  These children long for a family…even if it means being subjected to extreme violence and abuse.

Selling America’s Foster Youth and Children
In 2012, studies estimate that between 50 and 80 percent of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) in California are or were formally involved with the child welfare system.
58% of 72 sexually trafficked girls in Los Angeles County’s STARS Court in 2012 were foster care kids
In Alameda County, 41% of 267 victims in 2011-2012 were foster care kids

HOW CAN FOSTER PARENTS PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

We can significantly reduce the volume of foster children falling into the hands of traffickers by giving them what they need and long for: healthy families who will parent and love them unconditionally. It’s the right thing to do for our children!

Interested in learning more about the foster care licensing process? Click here.