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Rep. Frankel Urges Governor DeSantis, Florida Officials to Address Sex Trafficking in Foster Care System

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-22) was joined by the rest of the Florida Democratic Congressional delegation in sending a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and the leaders of the Florida State House and Senate expressing their deep concern over recent reports of sex trafficking of foster children in the State of Florida. The letter urges state officials to take immediate action to address sex trafficking of foster children and the sex trade in Florida’s hotels.

The letter states, in part, “As you should know, foster children are among the most vulnerable members of our society, and they deserve our utmost protection and care. The fact that they are being exploited and abused in this way is a grave injustice, and it is imperative that we do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice and prevent further incidents with a change in Florida’s foster care system.”

The letter continues, “We urge the DeSantis Administration and state legislators to work closely with local law enforcement, child welfare agencies, and advocacy groups to investigate [the Sun Sentinel report] and develop a comprehensive plan to address this issue. This may include increased funding for investigative and enforcement efforts, more robust protections, and support for foster children, including family-based care options and legislative fixes including those previously mentioned.”

The letter was written in response to a troubling report from the Sun Sentinel that illuminated a thriving sex trade of foster children in the State of Florida. At the end of last year, President Biden proclaimed January 2023 as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Full text of the letter is available here.