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, 2022

Report 22-05, July 2022




Report Summary

  • In 2021, 377 youth were verified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in Florida. This number has decreased slightly from 2020, when 383 youth were verified. Consistent with prior reports, dependent youth have a higher rate of prior maltreatments and re-victimization than community youth. 
  • The numbers of safe house beds and safe foster home beds have decreased over the past three years, and the number of CSE youth in out-of-home care far exceeds the number of CSE-specialized placement beds. 
  • While the percentages of time youth spent in most out-of-home care settings remained stable from 2020 to 2021, the percentage of time youth spent missing from care decreased. Re-victimized youth spent more time in safe houses and correctional placements in 2021 compared to 2020, whereas newly verified youth spent less time in safe houses and more time in traditional foster homes. 
  • As in prior reports, CSE youth do not fare well in a variety of short-term outcomes. Further, CSE youth who have had at least one Baker Act examination tend to have worse dependency and delinquency-related outcomes.
  • Judges and case managers identified similar gaps and barriers to placements and services, including a lack of placements and specialized services and reported that additional resources for individuals working with these youth are needed, including training for those working with CSE youth. 
  • The Institute for Child Welfare completed its validation study of the Department of Children and Families’ Human Trafficking Screening Tool but was unable to validate the tool.
  • While state agencies have previously identified changes to improve identification and services for CSE youth, including the establishment of new placement settings and additional training for state agency staff, some of the changes have yet to be implemented. 
  • OPPAGA recommends that DCF adopt the Institute for Child Welfare recommendations related to the Human Trafficking Screening Tool and that DCF assist lead agencies in identifying self-learning resources to share with case managers and providers. OPPAGA further recommends that the Legislature direct DCF to collect and report data on the number of youth who are determined to be appropriate for placement with a CSE specialized provider and the amounts of time these youth wait for specialized beds to become available. 


Related Reports
  1. Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2021
    Report 21-06 July 2021
  2. Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2020
    Report 20-05 July 2020
  3. Placement Options for CSE Victims Have Increased; CSE-Specific Services Remain Limited
    Report 19-05 July 2019
  4. Service Model Slowly Adapting for Community CSE Victims; Limited Progress in Less Restrictive Placements for Dependent CSE Victims
    Report 18-05 June 2018
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