The Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act of 2011 will develop guidelines for use by state child welfare agencies for identifying, documenting, educating, and counseling children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking or who are the victims of trafficking. It also calls for guidelines to prevent children from becoming victims of trafficking and a path for specialized, long-term residential facilities or safe havens to serve children who are human trafficking victims. This bill is the comprehensive approach we have been calling for these last twenty years, a victim-centered outlook focused on both prevention and rehabilitation.
History of the Bill
The bill was introduced in August, 2011 and referred to committee but has not gained any traction since then. Click here to see the bill tracking page.
What You Can Do
Step 1: Find your Congressional Representative Step 2: Find your Senators Step 3: Write a letter of support to all three of them Step 4: Share this page with your friends and family
Official Summary of the Bill
Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act of 2011 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop guidelines for use by state child welfare agencies in training appropriate child welfare employees and court employees in identifying, documenting, educating, and counseling children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking or who are human trafficking victims who may need to be in the care of the child welfare system. Requires the Secretary to develop guidelines that contain recommendations on how state child welfare agencies may prevent children from becoming victims of trafficking, including advice on how state and local law enforcement agencies may collaborate proactively with nonprofit organizations on how to manage cases involving a child who is such a victim. Requires the Secretary to draft recommendations for state child welfare agencies on how to best update licensing requirements for childcare institutions so that specialized, long-term residential facilities or safe havens serving children who are human trafficking victims can quality as childcare institutions under part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act. Amends part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to require state part E plans to include components that provides that: (1) the records of the agency classify each child to whom the agency is providing child welfare services and whom the agency has identified as being a victim of trafficking, and specify the reasons why the child is so classified; (2) each report submitted by the agency to the data collection system includes information on each child so classified; and (3) the agency shall report immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for entry into the National Crime Information Center database the identity of each missing or abducted child to whom the agency is providing child welfare services. Includes as part of the case plan for a child classified as a victim of trafficking documentation of the measures taken to ensure the child’s safety and of specifically designed services the child is receiving. Extends to age 21 any services for trafficked youth under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. Requires state part E plans to describe the practices and future plans of the state child welfare agency regarding the human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of foreign, U.S. citizen, and legal resident children.