Human Trafficking and Foster Care

Close up of teenage girl's face

In 2014, Monica was 16 and living in a specialized foster care placement for sexually abused girls. Through our Life Support program, Monica received a volunteer mentor, Leslie. Over the course of a year, the two interacted weekly, and developed a trusting bond.  

Monica left foster care in the fall of 2015, and Leslie lost contact. Six months later, January 11, 2016 is etched in Leslie’s mind. She received a desperate text from Monica late that night. It was a plea for help. Monica was homeless, among men, and terrified. We found her a hotel room for the night. We worked to get her into a shelter. She began to stabilize in a safer environment.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children states that 88% of likely sex trafficking child victims reported in 2017 were in the care of social services when they went missing.

We don’t know the end of Monica’s story. She remains vulnerable, unfortunately an easy target for toxic men.

The community must help. How?

Many children in foster care are stable because of the care given early and given consistently by foster parents, case workers, teachers, mentors, guardian ad litems, advocates – people like Leslie, people like you. We just need more of you.

Change begins with awareness and action. Become a foster parent, a mentor, a guardian ad litem, a tutor, an advocate. Give financial support to organizations working on behalf of these children. Educate yourself about human trafficking and sexual abuse. Practice kindness. Seek to lessen the pain of those in need. We are all fragile humans.

Some Upstate SC Resources:

Foster Care Support
Fostering Great Ideas

Human Trafficking Awareness
Rivers of Justice
Jasmine Road

Child Advocacy Centers
The Julie Valentine Center
Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union
Foothills Alliance

Every year, the Super Bowl is a reminder that human trafficking exists (or thrives). As reported, 169 people were arrested in Atlanta last week. Read the story.

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