OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2020

Report 20-05, July 2020

Report Summary

  • In 2019, 378 children were verified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Florida.  This number has decreased from 2018, when 400 victims were verified.  This is the first decrease in verified victims seen across OPPAGA’s reports.  The number of children who remain in the community following their CSE investigation continues to increase.
  • The number of safe house beds has increased in the past year, while safe foster home beds have decreased.  Providers of CSE specialized services reported having implemented several promising practices, including a variety of evidence-based therapeutic modalities and increased use of survivor mentors.
  • Our review included interviews with six states regarding their experiences with serving CSE victims.  These states’ CSE programs are still in development; however, state officials were consistent in reporting placement options, service gaps, and lessons learned.
  • Our review of CSE youth’s Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) files found limited evidence of CSE-specific services in juvenile detention centers and residential commitment facilities.  Further, several files were missing the CSE alert that notifies facility staff of the youth’s exploitation.
  • As in prior reports, CSE youth do not fare well in a variety of short-term outcomes.  Victims identified in our prior reports have high rates of subsequent Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DJJ involvement and low performance in K-12 schools.
  • DCF is preparing for full implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.  Department staff has drafted a definition for children at risk of human trafficking and licensing standards for a new placement type to serve these victims.  Other states are still evaluating characteristics to include in their definitions of at-risk and options for possible placement types.   

Related Reports
  1. Placement Options for CSE Victims Have Increased; CSE-Specific Services Remain Limited
    Report 19-05 July 2019
  2. Service Model Slowly Adapting for Community CSE Victims; Limited Progress in Less Restrictive Placements for Dependent CSE Victims
    Report 18-05 June 2018
  3. DCF and Its Lead Agencies Have Not Resolved Issues Related to Serving Commercially Sexually Exploited Children
    Report 17-09 June 2017
  4. Placement Challenges Persist for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation; Questions Regarding Effective Interventions and Outcomes Remain
    Report 16-04 July 2016
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, safe house, abuse hotline, arrests, revictimization, placement, runaway, foster care, residential treatment, mental health, substance abuse