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George Brown College

Major Assignment – Professional Issues lll

Part 3: Group Component

Professional Issues lll: Diversity and Human Rights
Zuby Saloojee
CYCS 3014

Nicholas Carreiro
Nathan Annor
Cynthia Sophia Gonzales
Summaries:
The topic we as a group felt passionately about and wanted to do further studies on was

fostered youth dealing with human trafficking. Individually, we researched different articles

based on our topic to further our knowledge on child welfare and the connection with human

trafficking. While researching we found one negative article about a youth in the child welfare

system that was not given the support they needed to begin a fresh start, while the other articles

were about positive ways to support agencies and youth victims and statistical data on core

issues. Furthermore, the first article that was chosen was about a young girl who was placed in

long-term foster care as a result of a horrific tragedy she experienced in her life. Unfortunately,

the article goes on to explain that the long-term foster care system let her down completely as

she suffered more leaving the foster care then when she had originally arrived. During her time

in the foster care system, the individual felt neglected and longed for emotional support. As a

result of how she was treated and her needs not being met, she turned to sex trade as she felt that

was the only way she would get the love she needed. In addition, the long-term foster care

system was unfortunately a place of neglect for this young person and can drive thousands of

others to seek love and support elsewhere, mainly in places that leave them in high risk

situations, insecure, and longing for their basic needs to be met. Further, the other articles chosen

discussed how a significant amount of children in the foster care system are involved in sex

trafficking, how it is important to adapt our practice accordingly and ensure the youth understand

and have access to their rights, protections and opportunities available to them. The article goes

on to explain the connection between those children and youth involved with Child Services and

why they are the targets of traffickers, as well as the changes that federal agencies have put in

place to help both Children’s Aid and victims.
Key Points:
The number of children in foster care that are involved in sex trafficking is growing

immensely. One of the articles states that “studies support this connection – the Connecticut

department of children and families found in one study that 86 of 88 children identified as child

sex trafficking victims were involved with child welfare services in some capacity” (Cooper

Cristina, Nov2016). Recognizing the vulnerability of many children in foster care, all agencies

involved with child welfare are required to follow policies and procedures to report children and

youth that are victims of sex trafficking or those at risk. It is very important to follow up reports

because it will increase reorganization on ways to support the youth and provide them the proper

awareness of this painful act. Another key issue is that the Department of Health and Human

Services have attempted to look deeper into the issue of human trafficking, and as a result, the

Department of Health and Human Services have developed three main goals. Including creating

cohesive services to help victims, collecting and using data to create new programming for anti-

trafficking, and spreading awareness through public health messages. This will decrease sex-

trafficking and many people will become aware through public messages. In many cases the

child welfare system has failed many foster youths after they age out of the program, leading to

thousands of individuals in need of support. The child welfare system has many cases where

youths have been failed by the system. This information from these articles has improved our

knowledge on this topic because we found many laws/legislation protecting youth that have been

trafficked, as well as statistics on unsuccessful group homes, policies, support systems, helpline

and much more. Foster youths dealing with human trafficking have many obstacles but knowing

this information, we as a group can build it into our website and social media to support these

victims.
Issues:

The long term foster care system is unfortunately a place of neglect and often leads

individuals to seek love and support elsewhere, mainly in the bad areas, when the good support is

no longer there for them. According to a U.S. District Judge Janis Jack, “rape, abuse,

psychotropic medication and instability are the norm” and children leave more damaged then

they arrived. Due to the fact that the long-term shelters sometimes don’t provide the needed love

and support individuals long for, many have decided to run away. Further, eighty-six percent of

runaway children in the United States suspected of being involved in the sex work have come

from child welfare systems. To an individual in need of help, group homes and shelters are

possibly their last chance of getting themselves back together and into the real world; and that is

the main issue.

Topic of Interested/Passionate:

The group felt over the past years learning and understanding our profession, that human

trafficking has become much more a part of our development into a child and youth worker. “Up

to 80% of youth who are currently or formerly in foster care become victims of sex trafficking”

(Cooper Cristina, Nov2016). Many youths in the child welfare system are facing human

trafficking daily and many do not know how to deal with it alone as they are in need of support.

Therefore, an individual in need of help recognizes that group homes and shelters are possibly

their last chance of getting themselves back together and into the real world; and that is the main

issue we as a group will address throughout this research assignment. We want to support these

youths in the child welfare system because many youths have no support while dealing with
human trafficking. Some of our group members have worked and have been in contact with

youth that are currently dealing with human trafficking. This impacted our group’s decision to

research this topic and promote our research through a website and social media. We feel

through all of this, we have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience related to this topic

which is why it has become our core interest to support youth in the child welfare system.

Promoting:
This inclined our group to research this topic and to promote our research through a

website and social media. The main issue that we are going to address through our project is

ways to find support through our social media. Foster youth that are dealing with human

trafficking have many risk factors that increase their vulnerability. Examples are lack of stability,

separation and physical distance from friends and extended family. We will be implementing a

service to support youth that are dealing with human trafficking. Also, we will be providing

information to other stakeholders that are involved with the youth that is being trafficked. We

will be providing information on laws/legislation protecting youth that have been trafficked.

Advocacy:

Human trafficking is a form of slavery that violates human rights which forces youth into

abusive sex and labour trade. North American human rights organizations must work together to

keep up their practice and always keep updated with new information about human trafficking in

the child welfare system. Human trafficking is an important topic of interest for our group

because the youths in foster care rights are being violated and forced into sexual activity. It is

important to adapt our practice accordingly.
Stakeholders:

The stakeholders that we are targeting that are involved with foster youth dealing with human

trafficking are group homes, child and youth workers and the youth that are being targeted. We

want to influence and educate this group because we know information is always evolving with

this topic and knowledge/information is key to success.
Citations:

1. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2015). Child welfare and human trafficking.

Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

2. Cooper Cristina Klain, E. J. (2016, Nov). What the Preventing Sex Trafficking and

Strengthening Families Act Means for Your Practice . Retrieved from

http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=87428044-b798-449e-a074-

455f9e216566%40sessionmgr4010&hid=4210&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2

NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=120091850&db=a9h

3. T. (2017, February 14). When foster care couldn't help this 16-year-old, she ran to a pimp.

Retrieved March 06, 2017, from http://www.kens5.com/features/when-foster-care-

couldnt-help-this-16-year-old-she-ran-to-a-pimp/408467708