Human Trafficking in state run youth facilities – Illinois

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Can you imagine State run youth facilities in Illinois partaking in human sex trafficking all paid for with your tax dollars?  Employees at youth residential facilities and group homes paid for by the State of Illinois are facilitating using foster kids as sex slaves and some employees are having sex with the13dafb3911fb17f6a118c1318aaa2104
youth themselves.  Children as young as 10 running away to the streets to escape abuse.  Separated from family and everything they’ve known only to step into another abusive situation when it is the State job to protect them.

Sadly this doesn’t surprise me.  I’m infuriated that nothing has changed in over 25 years during the time I survived being a ward of the state of Illinois.  With kids dying in care, sex trafficking within the system, extreme abuse DCFS has become an atrocious example of caring for children already suffering tremendously.  For nearly 9 years I was a ward of the state of Illinois, shifted from foster homes to group homes to the shelter.  I’ve witnessed and experienced all of the mishandling of kids, corruption, abuse, youth involved in sexual activities with staff members, youth being sex trafficked, and encouraged into prostitution.

not_for_sale_girlThrough extenuating circumstances and defying the odds I was fortunate enough to have the same case worker for 9 years  which is extremely rare.  A case worker that cares makes a huge difference as to the level of abuse a child is exposed to.  My caseworker waited to retire on my 18th birthday, unfortunately that is not he case for most.  Although he tried his best,  I too fell victim to human sex trafficking under state care with one of my foster Mother’s being a pimp.   I was fortunate enough to escape but there are so many who don’t have the courage to run away.  (excerpt of my story here #PRICELESSJewell)

Facilities notified DCFS of 29,425 incidents when a ward ran away or went missing. That is an average of nearly 27 runaway reports a day among wards in Illinois facilities.  Reported by the Chicago Tribune.   runaways_statewide

Chicago Tribune also reported:

  • At a cost to taxpayers over $200 million per year for residential centers to provide round-the-clock supervision and therapy to Foster youth whom been neglected, abused, youth and other disadvantaged youths with mental health and behavioral problems.
  • In the best cased the facilities rebuild and even save young lives. But the Tribune found that many underprivileged youths — most of them African-American — are shuttled for years from one grim institution to another before emerging more damaged than when they went in.

Reports of patient-on-patient sexual assault are common place at some of Illinois’ largest and most relied-on facilities. Child prostitution schemes take root. Vulnerable children are terrorized by older ones and taught a life of crime.  Some are preyed on sexually by the adults paid to care for them.  And staggering numbers of wards, some as young as 10, flee to the streets.

In the three years from 2011 through 2013, Illinois residential facilities sent the state Department of Children and Family Services 428 reports alleging a ward was sexually assaulted or abused while in their care, according to DCFS records not previously made public.

The facilities submitted an additional 1,052 reports that a ward was physically assaulted during those three years — in some instances by staff but usually by a peer.


Video by: Trenton Sheldon















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