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A State-wide Analysis of Characteristics and Predictors of Dual System Involvement Among Child Victims of Human Trafficking

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 147 Issue: 106530 Dated: Jan 2024
Date Published
January 2024

This article provides insights into a research study that built on previous research examining characteristics and system experiences of child welfare- and juvenile justice-involved children who had experienced a human trafficking abuse allegation in Florida; the article discusses the study’s participants and setting, methodology, and findings.


Little is known about human trafficking victimization among children in the juvenile justice population or among children with child welfare and juvenile justice involvement. Building on previous research with child welfare– and juvenile justice–involved children, the authors investigated characteristics and system experiences among children who have experienced a human trafficking abuse allegation in Florida. The overall study population included all children born on or after January 1, 1993, who had at least one DCF-documented maltreatment allegation before March 1, 2020. This study examined a total of 12,167 allegations in the first set of analyses and the first human trafficking allegation for each child (N = 9,300) in the second set of analyses. Analyses were based on linked administrative data for a cohort of children involved with Florida's Departments of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and/or Children and Families (DCF). The authors used descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses to document the characteristics of single and dual system–involved children and examine predictors of child welfare, juvenile justice, and dual system involvement. Results indicated that (1) nearly half of children with a human trafficking abuse allegation are involved in DCF at the time of the allegation, (2) females who experienced trafficking are more likely to be involved in DCF (with or without DJJ involvement) than involved in no system, (3) Black children with an alleged trafficking incident were more likely than White children to be involved in both systems compared with DCF only, and (4) children who experienced labor trafficking abuse allegations were less likely than those who experienced sex trafficking to be involved with either system. This study depicts child victims of sex and labor trafficking who are involved with one or both systems in one state. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2024