Incidence of Maltreatment and Child Welfare History of Victims of Child Sex Trafficking: Policy and Practice Implications DEBRA SCHILLING WOLFE, MED S ARAH WASCH, MSW ONE C H I L D M A N Y H A ND S: A M ULT I D I SC I P L I NA RY C O N FE R E NC E O N C H I L D WE L FA RE J UNE 8 , 20 17 Background The Field Center for Childrens Policy Practice & Research A leader in child welfare system reform, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to research-informed policy and practice innovation Identified Child Welfare to Child Trafficking pipeline as a significant issue Developed formal partnership with Covenant House to conduct research on the incidence of child trafficking among homeless youth in three cities Interested in learning about child welfare factors that may place youth at risk for trafficking, with eye toward recommending policy reforms and practice innovations

Background Domestic sex trafficking is starting to receive considerable attention among legislators, social service providers, and researchers, but the magnitude of the problem is not well understood By combining estimates of youth at risk of sexual exploitation with estimates of child trafficking victims, early estimates are likely highly inflated and the true incidence of the rate is unknown (Salisbury, Dabney & Russell, 2014; Fong & Cardoso, 2010; Stransky & Finkelhor, 2008) Learning to identify victims is first step in preventing domestic sex trafficking and assisting survivors Background Most commonly identified risk factor for commercial sexual exploitation of children is history of sexual abuse (Ahrens et al., 2012) Minors who were sexually abused were 28 times more likely to be arrested for prostitution at some point in their lives than minors who were not sexually abused (National Institutes of Justice, 1994) Multiple placements and/or group homes may expose youth to further abuse or coercion into trafficking (Choi, 2015)

Almost 2/3 of those investigated as victims of trafficking had a significant history of child maltreatment and prior child protective services involvement (Havlicek, Huston, Boughton & Zhang, 2016) Research Objectives To examine the prevalence of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation among homeless youth in multiple cities through replication of an earlier study utilizing the previously validated Human Trafficking Interview and Assessment Measure (HTIAM-10; Bigelsen & Vuotto, 2013) To gain insight into the child maltreatment, child welfare, and out-of-home placement experiences as well as resilience factors for victims of child sex trafficking Why Child Welfare Focus Too little research has been done to identify and measure risk factors for sex trafficking victimization Estimates exist that between 60 and 90% of sex trafficking victims have been involved in the child welfare system so the child welfare system may be best positioned to stem the pipeline to predators If we can identify who is most at risk, we can develop interventions to prevent

victimization Research is needed to identify protective factors that can reduce risk for victimization Recruitment Interviews took place between September 2016 and March 2017 Research Sites: Philadelphia, PA: Covenant House (n=100) Washington, DC: Covenant House (n=70) Phoenix, AZ: Multiple Sites (n=100) Tumbleweed Native American Connections one-n-ten Recruitment Eligibility to participate in research English-speaking only 18+ years old Currently experiencing homelessness Shelter and site-based staff recruited youth from available

census Administrative Study Liaison oversaw process and assigned unique participant ID Incentives: $10 gift card and snacks Interview Procedures Youth participated in a semi-structured, face-to-face interview using the HTIAM-10 If any commercial sex activity detected Child Welfare Supplemental Survey (CWSS) administered Informed consent process built rapport Eliciting Information o Repeat questions Interview Length: o Provide normalizing statements 20 minutes 2 hours o Offer probing questions o Describe framework viewing illegal activities as work In the event of participant distress, youth were referred to the on-site counselor Participants (N=270)

Sexual Orientation Gender 0.74% 9.92% 3.70% 5.73% 4.20% 38.15% 57.41% Female Transgender Male

Other Heterosexual 80.15% Homosexual Bisexual Pansexual Participants Average Age: 20.7 Education 96% were U.S. citizens 24.81% 39.26% 12.96%

2.96% 20.00% HS diploma Still in HS College Dropped out of HS GED completed Measures Human Trafficking Interview & Assessment Measure-10 (HTIAM-10; Bigelsen & Vuotto, 2013) Originally developed and validated by researchers at Fordham University with study participants served by Covenant House New York Designed to assess trafficking victimization by evoking stories from participants regarding their labor and sexual exploitation experiences Semi-structured interview protocol in one-on-one, face-to-face format Field Center adaptation: Included supplemental questions not asked in original HTIAM pertaining to experience with homelessness, experience with trading sex, and use of

Internet to promote sale of sex (e.g., Backpage) Measures Child Welfare Supplemental Survey (CWSS) Collaboratively developed by Field Center research team (n=4) based on review of currently available survey tools from ongoing national child welfare and wellbeing studies (e.g., National Longitudinal Study of Child & Adolescent Wellbeing) and over 50 years of collective child welfare experience Designed to be administered only to youth who reported that they had engaged in commercial sex Administered directly following HTIAM-10 using a semi-structured interview protocol in one-on-one, face-to-face format Designed to capture self-reported maltreatment experiences, child welfare system involvement, living situation, preparation for independent living, and availability & utilization of support systems All Homeless Youth (n=270) (n=270)

Experienced Exploitation 75% (n=203) (n=203) Trafficking 20% (n=53) (n=53) Sex Sex Trafficking 17% 17% (n=45) Sex Sex Trafficking Trafficking Force, Force,

Fraud, Coercion 7% 7% (n=19) (n=19) Commercial Commercial Sex Sex 36% (n=98) (n=98) Labor Labor Trafficking 6% (n=15) (n=15) Sex Sex Trafficking

Trafficking Age Age 14% 14% (n=39) (n=39) Survival Sex Sex 14% 14% (n=39) (n=39) Sex Trafficking Category 13; 29.55% 25; 56.82% 6; 13.64%

Age Force, Fraud, or Coercion Both Rates of Sex Trafficking & Survival Sex By Gender 70% 60% 60% 50% 50% 40% 40%

30% 20% 24% 17% 19% 14% 9% 10% 0% Total Female 10% Male

Sex Trafficked Survival Sex Transgender 0%Other Rates of Sex Trafficking & Survival Sex By Sexual Orientation 50% 46% 45% 40% 35% 33%

30% 27% 25% 20% 15% 27% 23% 17% 14% 13% 11% 13%

10% 5% 0% Total Heterosexual Homosexual Sex Trafficked Survival Sex Bisexual Pansexual Use of the Internet One out of three who engaged in commercial sex used the internet

Of those who were the subject on an online ad, about half were on Backpage, followed by Craigslist Participants who placed an ad on the internet were more likely to be female (52%) or transgender (17%) 47% who utilized the internet were underage at the time they placed an ad or an ad was placed on their behalf Of victims of sex trafficking, 44% had been in an online ad Reasons Began Trading Sex: Commercial Sex 80% 74% 70% 60% 52% 50%

40% 27% 30% 18% 20% 13% 8% 10% 0% eo v Lo r

fT er k c affi S er t l he M ey on n

Ru ng ni fr om A 8% se bu ar e F o

er k c ffi a r fT D g ru s er h Ot

Reasons Began Trading Sex: Survival Sex 90% 80% 77% 70% 67% 60% 54% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

0% 26% 15% 18% 13% 8% Child Maltreatment Rates for Sex Trafficked vs. Other Commercial Sex 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20%

10% 0% *p<.05 95% 73% Yes No Child Maltreatment History 63% reporting involvement with the child welfare system More than half of the participants reported that their maltreatment began at age 5 or younger Only 69% of those who were abused or neglected reported receiving any help or services for their maltreatment Maltreatment was reported to occur over a span lasting an average of 5 years Respondents described multiple episodes of maltreatment and multiple perpetrators Of those who were sex trafficked, 55% of perpetrators were a biological parent, 43%

another relative, 12% a paramour, 5% a placement caretaker, and 33% fell into another category Receiving Help for Maltreatment 70% 62% 60% 64% 59% 50% 40% 36% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Tell Anyone about Maltreatment Person You Told Took Action Not Sex Trafficked (but Engaged in Commercial Sex) Sex Trafficked Sexual Abuse Rates Physical Abuse Rates for Sex Trafficked vs. Not Sex Trafficked (but other Commercial Sex) for Sex Trafficked vs. Not Sex Trafficked (but other Commercial Sex) 100%

100% 80% 80% 60% 60% 49% 47% 45% 40% 40%

20% 20% 0% 0% Yes No 33% Yes No Sexual Abuse as a Risk Factor 49% of sex trafficked youth reported a history of sexual abuse

29% of Seattle homeless and runaway youth reported a history of sexual abuse (Tyler & Cauce, 2002) 21% of NY homeless and runaway youth reported a history of sexual abuse (Powers, Eckenrode & Jaklitsch, 1990) NIS-4 reported a sexual abuse prevalence rate of 18% from 2005-6 data Lifetime prevalence rate of sexual abuse in the general population was found to be 10.5% (Finkelhor & Dziuba-Leatherman, 1994) Living Situation as a Risk Factor 88% of youth who experienced commercial sex lived in at least one place without a biological parent Over 50% did not have a place to live at some point prior to their 18th birthday 41% report being removed from their homes by the child welfare system 92% lived in at least two places with someone other than a parent, friend or significant other 29% reported that they lived in at least 10 different places 8% reported living in 20 or more residences 4% report living in too many places to count Out-of-Home Care Placement

Setting 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 86% 88% 60% 67%

5% Foster Home Group Home Not Sex Trafficked (but Engaged in Commercial Sex) 6% Independent Living Sex Trafficked Out-of-Home Care Placement Rates for Sex Trafficked Youth by City 5.0 4.8

4.5 4.0 4.1 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.0 1.5 1.0

1.0 0.5 0.0 Philadelphia Washington, DC # of Foster Homes # of Group Homes Phoenix Protective Factors Youth eloquently identified what would have made a difference Data told us that two key factors emerged as potential protective factors Presence of a caring adult High school graduation What Would Have Made a

Difference Was there anything that might have helped prevent you from being in this situation or leave earlier? How might others have helped? 1. Family/Parents 2. Someone Who Cared (Other than Parents) 3. Community Support/Programs Presence of Caring Adult By Being Sex Trafficked 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

0% Caring Adult While Under 18 Not Sex Trafficked (but Engaged in Commercial Sex) Caring Adult Now Sex Trafficked Education as a Protective Factor Victims of trafficking were 72% more likely to have dropped out of high school than other participants 44% of trafficked youth had dropped out of high school Those who received a GED were at the highest risk of sex trafficking, followed by those who dropped out of high school Of those who received a high school diploma, the sex trafficking rate was 20 percentage points lower Advice for Other Youth What advice would you give to other young people who might be going

through similar things to what you went through? 1. Attitude Matters 2. Ask for Help 3. Access Programs Strengths Why Youth Shared With Interviewer Anonymity Because no one will know who they are Confidentiality Because information will not go in their file/staff will not find out Professional Distance Because they will never see interviewer again Desire to Help Because they want to help other youth Limitations Could be differences in victimization experiences between homeless youth who seek shelter and those who do not All data self-reported Mandated reporting requirement may have limited some youth sharing about illegal

activities Highly sensitive nature of topics and potential under-reporting of sexual exploitation experiences by some youth o Youth may not want to share personal history with a stranger o Youth may fear legal or personal repercussions Limitations Not an even gender distribution Results may look different if more evenly distributed among male, female, & transgender youth Males may be less likely to acknowledge sexual exploitation out of sense of shame & fear of stigma (Estes & Weiner, 2001; Curtis, Terry, Dank, Dombrowski & Khan, 2008; Willis, Willis, Friedman & Roberts, 2013) Research Recommendations 1. Administer CWSS to known sample of trafficked youth (e.g., those involved in Juvenile Justice who were trafficked) 2. Conduct longitudinal work to prospectively follow a sample of trafficked

youth over time to learn how they fare later in life 3. Incorporate administrative data so not solely relying on self-report of sexual exploitation, victimization, and service system experiences 4. Incorporate standardized measures of health and wellbeing 5. Further refine CWSS to gather more information about child welfare and protective factors Acknowledgements Co-Principal Investigator: Johanna Greeson Research Analyst: Dan Treglia Research Instrument Design: Antonio Garcia Student Researchers: Jennifer Conn, Xuan Trinh, Julia Vadas, Ran Zhang Covenant House International: David Howard and Jayne Bigelsen Staff at Research Sites: Covenant House PA, Covenant House DC, Tumbleweed, Native American Connections, one-n-ten Thank You Debra Schilling Wolfe, MEd Sarah Wasch, MSW Executive Director

Program Manager [email protected] [email protected] Field Center for Childrens Policy Practice & Research University of Pennsylvania 3815 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19422 215.573.9779 Policy and Practice Recommendations Target street outreach services for newly homeless youth Promote programs that support youth to remain in school and graduate from high school Assure that youth who exit the foster care system are financially literate and provided transitional and aftercare services Identify and foster emotional attachments with family members and other caring supports

Policy and Practice Recommendations Utilize data to identify populations at highest risk prevention services Victimization minimization services for LGBTQ youth Promote psychoeducational intervention and access to evidence-based treatment for victims of sexual abuse Support out-of-home placement stability

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