Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
January 11, 2021
Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and today, January 11, 2021, is national #WearBlue Day to raise awareness about human trafficking. According to the Office of the Texas Attorney General (OAG), 79,000 children and youth are believed to be victims of sex trafficking in Texas at any given time. Additionally, according to the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS), children and youth who experience complex trauma, have a history of child welfare involvement, transition out of foster care, or run away from foster care are especially vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Children’s Commission’s Child Protection Law Bench Book includes a chapter and checklist to address human trafficking. Judges and attorneys also have multiple resources available to help increase awareness about child sex trafficking, which can support the legal community to prevent, identify, and address trafficking among children and youth in foster care. Please see below for additional information about these resources:

  • In 2015, the Texas Legislature and Governor Greg Abbott created a Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT) to build Texas’ capacity to serve victims of trafficking and to raise awareness to prevent, interdict, and prosecute child exploitation. The CSTT team provides awareness materials, education resources, and research for judges, attorneys, child welfare professionals, and other stakeholders related to child sex trafficking, all of which are available on the Office of the Governor’s website.
  • The DFPS Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation (HTCE) Division is charged with improving capacity at DFPS to identify, report, recover, and restore victims of trafficking for the children and youth served by DFPS. The division has hosted two statewide Human Trafficking Summits and leads the Administration for Children and Families Region VI Human Trafficking Workgroup to strengthen the coordination and response to trafficking with other nearby states.
  • DFPS is partnering with the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) to host a Lunch and Learn on January 13, 2021 at 12 PM CST, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth: Debunking Myths of Human Trafficking to Create Victim-Centered Services. Registration is open now. For more information, please contact Blanca Denise Lance, DFPS Director of Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation at
  • In 2019, the Office of the Governor and DFPS combined their efforts to fight child sex trafficking in Texas by creating the Governor’s Response Against Child Exploitation (GRACE initiative), which envisions ending human trafficking, helping survivors heal and flourish, and protecting the vulnerable.
  • The OAG continues to coordinate the statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. The OAG task force is focused on the prevention of and prosecution of human trafficking crimes. The OAG created a digital training tool entitled “Be the One,” designed to improve victim identification. For January, the OAG is recognizing Human Trafficking Awareness Month by launching its #TXBlueSandProject and other initiatives.

By utilizing these resources, judges and attorneys can actively engage in human trafficking awareness and prevention.
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For a complete list of Resource Letters, please visit the Children's Commission web page. Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. The Children’s Commission website is not equipped to facilitate dialogue or conversation about matters related to the information in this communique. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our website.