Foster Care to Prostitution Pipeline

Posted by George Ritacco on Feb 24, 2015 11:33:00 AM


What? Let me read this again; Foster Care to Prostitution Pipeline. I thought that's what it said. What is happening in our society?  Is there no end to how we will abuse the most vulnerable among us? 

I recently caught this "pipeline" headline on a CBS broadcast in Denver...

"State lawmakers say too many children in the child welfare system are disappearing for weeks at a time without anyone looking for them. They also say most of the children rescued from sex trafficking are in the foster system...Sixty percent, in fact, of children rescued from sex trafficking have at one time or another been in the custody of a welfare agency or a foster home, according to lawmakers." 

What is the connection? 

Any of you who work in Child Protective Services and foster care know only too well how vulnerable children are by the time you have stepped in and placed them in a foster home. It's impossible for stable adults to imagine the sense of free-fall a young foster child feels who has at first been abused by adults who should have protected them from harm and then been saved by an impersonal government system that they are grateful to but cannot love. This trauma is usually followed by a series of well-meaning but foreign feeling foster homes that can't replace the natural sense of worth and confidence that only a biological family of origin can provide. 

Becky Zal-Sanchez with the National Association of Social Workers says that, "many of the children have run away so often that case workers write them off. They can go missing for weeks without anyone looking." They have low social boundaries because they have often been dependent on strangers, so they gravitate to these sex traffickers because they offer to care for them. 

Lawmakers in the state of Colorado have introduced a bill that would require welfare agencies and foster families to notify police, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children within 24 hours of a child disappearing. 

You mean this is not a law already?! This is not standard operating procedure throughout the country?!!! We must all talk to our congressmen in Washington to encourage them to pass a national law closing this overlooked loophole. Children going- missing from the foster care system and no one trying to find them is a national disgrace.


Topics: Social Services Industry News, Child Welfare, Foster Care, Government

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