Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2021

Report 21-06, July 2021




Report Summary

  • In 2020, 383 children were verified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in Florida. This number has increased slightly from 2019, when 378 victims were verified. During this review period, the number of children missing from care increased significantly.
  • Among all dependent children, the amount of time spent in safe houses is increasing; however, placements among re-victimized children vary widely from those first verified in 2020, with less time spent in group homes, safe houses, and with relative/non-relative caregivers and more time spent in residential treatment, foster homes, and missing from care. The majority of lead agencies reported placing community CSE victims in safe houses or residential treatment.
  • Survivor mentors identified areas of progress in serving CSE youth and identified additional service needs as well as a need for improvement in training and how stakeholders interact with youth. While there are still no evidence-based practices nationally for serving CSE youth, one Florida provider has undergone evaluations over the past eight years as part of its effort to become an evidence-based program.
  • States are still working toward full implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Florida is finalizing policies to serve CSE youth and youth at risk for CSE under FFPSA; licensing for federally qualifying Title IV-E placements will begin in the summer of 2021. The department has identified 132 existing providers interested in going through the new licensing process for at-risk homes.
  • As in prior reports, CSE youth do not fare well on a variety of short-term outcomes. Victims identified in prior reports have high rates of subsequent involvement with the Department of Children and Families and Department of Juvenile Justice; the majority had at least one involuntary examination following their initial verification. While our reviews have found these victims to have low performance in K-12 schools, this outcome appears to be improving.
  • State agencies and CSE providers encountered several challenges in serving youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some agency initiatives were delayed, efforts to better identify CSE victims and collaboration among agencies improved.


Related Reports
  1. Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2020
    Report 20-05 July 2020
  2. Placement Options for CSE Victims Have Increased; CSE-Specific Services Remain Limited
    Report 19-05 July 2019
  3. Service Model Slowly Adapting for Community CSE Victims; Limited Progress in Less Restrictive Placements for Dependent CSE Victims
    Report 18-05 June 2018
  4. DCF and Its Lead Agencies Have Not Resolved Issues Related to Serving Commercially Sexually Exploited Children
    Report 17-09 June 2017
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.
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