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Runaway foster kids raise sex-trafficking fears in Kansas


“Kansas has not implemented the trafficking-related provisions ... “Anything we can do to help kids remain in their homes will automatically decrease their risk of being picked up by a trafficker,” she said. “By supporting parents, by supporting ...


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Bolden","published":1518563941,"sources":[{"src":"//dr6lcqo3bxtwa.cloudfront.net/binary/2018/2/13/23/1437582013143-p5k4ma/full_video_city_council_speech-1518563936253.mp4","type":"video/mp4"},{"src":"//dr6lcqo3bxtwa.cloudfront.net/binary/2018/2/13/23/1437580321678-6bjrso/full_video_city_council_speech-1518563937406.mp4","type":"video/mp4"},{"src":"//dr6lcqo3bxtwa.cloudfront.net/binary/2018/2/13/23/art_199938924/full_video_city_council_speech.m3u8","type":"application/x-mpegURL"}],"ads":[{"publication":"kansas","tag":"//pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?ciu_szs=300x250&correlator=%5Btimestamp%5D&cust_params=sect%3Dpolitics_government%26id%3D199938924%26eid%3D200579429%26vidlength%3Dlong%26pl%3D&env=vp&gdfp_req=1&hl=en&impl=s&iu=%2F7675%2FWCH.site_kansas%2FNews%2FNational%2FGovtPolitics&output=vast&sz=400x300&unviewed_position_start=1&url=%5Breferrer_url%5D&vidlength=long&vpos=preroll","lang":"en","sz":"400x300","vpos":"preroll","cust_params":"sect=politics_government&id=199938924&eid=200579429&vidlength=long&pl="}],"langCode":"en","brightcoveData":{"account":"","policyKey":"BCpkADawqM1PXJkxFW1uDvXbJ9rU6yfNvaaUvojdUB-R4cgqGOJTgqM55I67S52UXuIr9-WnALJo9a0o86vUJSuSxPppvzXS3yMkXY3U-fMh0jrZXE6OT9fQ2DU10f42_cHg8ynY8eIDzqWp"}}], {"wpsInclude":false,"wpsArea":null,"autoPlay":false,"pubName":"kansas","embed":false,"cacheBust":"8f6a992","iterator":5,"uniqueId":"197925949-1518924564254","paywallEnabled":true,"domainName":"www.kansas.com","pubId":"5","isSecureRequest":false,"baseTemplate":"story","videoType":"lead-asset"} ); }); Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the worldKansas has been named an "originating state" for human trafficking Candi Bolden cbolden@wichitaeagle.com Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the worldKansas has been named an "originating state" for human trafficking Candi Bolden cbolden@wichitaeagle.com jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.leadAssets.init(); }); Local Runaway foster kids raise sex-trafficking fears in Kansas By Katherine Burgess kburgess@wichitaeagle.com LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Reddit Print Order Reprint of this Story $(document).ready(function () { mi.articleShareTools.init({ nextLinkedin: '11246', nextPinterest: '11451' }); mi.socialSharingScroll.init(); }); February 16, 2018 03:01 PM She was 13, living in a Kansas group home, when an older girl convinced her to run away That led to her being sold for sex for the first time. She was later put in juvenile detentionThen, after spending time in foster care, she was a victim of sex trafficking again at age 15. “Every time I did something wrong, they just locked me up with the same people who were doing the same stuff I was doing or worse,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity“While I was in foster care and in the system I felt like nothing was ever consistentI never had a consistent person in my life.” jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.renderNewsletterIframe.init({ container: '#newsletter-signUpWidget', url: 'http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=106,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=109,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=113' }); }); Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.calltoActionCtrl.init(); }); The pipeline from foster care to human trafficking is well known, said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, executive director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University. Foster children are at a greater risk of human trafficking because they have gone through traumas such as abuse, and experts like Countryman-Roswurm say the system also exacerbates a disconnect between children and a community, putting them further in jeopardy That’s of particular concern when there were 71 foster care children in Kansas who have run away and another three who are missing in early February, something Countryman-Roswurm said should cause “alarm bells.” The numbers When it first came to light that dozens of foster children were missing in Kansas, RepLinda Gallagher, R-Lenexa, said she was worried because Kansas is known to be a crossroads for human trafficking The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that out of nearly 25,000 reports of runaways it received in 2017, one in seven was likely a victim of child sex trafficking. Of those, 88 percent were in the care of social services when they went missing. Gina Meier-Hummel, who was appointed secretary of the Kansas Department of Children and Families in November, said the department is putting an emphasis on finding the state’s missing youth and making sure they have adequate treatment. Between Nov20, 2017, and Dec31, 2017, 99 missing foster children were found, according to the departmentThe department has previously said that the number of missing foster children was in line with the national average “Those who are choosing to run away and leave their placement and are out, potentially in bad situations, they certainly are vulnerable for human trafficking, and we are very definitely aware of that,” Meier-Hummel said The department also has a rapid response team that responds when a child is identified as a possible victim of trafficking. Since 2014, the Department of Children and Families has done 285 assessments on possible victims of trafficking, Meier-Hummel said. “It is a real issue for Kansas kids, unfortunately,” she said Jennifer Montgomery, director of human trafficking education and outreach for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, said in an email that concrete data about human trafficking “is elusive” due to the underground nature of the crime.

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