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Preventing Child Sex Trafficking

Preventing Child Sex Trafficking

Every child needs an adult who’s paying attention, who worries and cares what’s happening

Our Work

We are a prevention army

Each year in this country, more than 100,000 children are reported as victims of sexual exploitation, or trafficking, as it is also known. The actual number is higher; tens of thousands of children are exploited without anyone noticing or reporting it. And as many as 4 out of 5 victims have spent time in foster care.

It’s easy to understand what makes children in foster care so vulnerable—constant shuffling from place to place with little warning and no say, and a system where people get money to care for them. One victim called foster care “the perfect training for commercial sexual exploitation.”

Care and concern from a trusted figure can prevent a child’s exploitation. National CASA/GAL is working to prepare CASA and GAL volunteers to prevent trafficking and to fight for children who have already been victimized.


More than

100,00 children

are trafficked each year

As many as

4 out of 5 victims

have spent time in the child welfare system

Most often

12-to-14 year-olds

are victims of trafficking

Children in trouble—like all children—need someone who cares enough to be there for them, no matter what they do or what happens to them. They need someone to help them see their inherent value as a unique human being.

Court appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers do just that. And even though there are dozens of paid professionals who work with children in the system, each has their own mandate: treat injuries, collect evidence, prosecute cases, make rulings, find placements, manage facilities, provide services.

CASA and GAL volunteers work outside the silos to focus on the child’s whole life.

When a CASA or GAL volunteer is involved, they can tell a child that their body is their own and no one else’s. They can show them what a healthy relationship looks like. They can make sure they know the warning signs. They follow up. They check in. They know when something is off.

“One of our kids got placed in Houston and went running. Her CASA volunteer freaked out. She drove down there and put signs up in every convenience store within two square miles of the group home, saying, ‘Please, call me.’ And that kid walked in and saw one of those flyers. She just couldn’t believe that someone did that, put flyers up all over a town the size of Houston to find her. She called and came back into care.”

Chad Frymire
Program Director, Dallas CASA

Learn More

National CASA/GAL is committed to giving every CASA or GAL volunteer in the nation the training and resources they need to protect and heal every child in the sights of traffickers.

Beyond developing specialized trafficking trainings for distribution nationwide, National CASA/GAL is working to create a national resource bank to put the latest research online and on tap for volunteers and others who need it.

We are evaluating what works, sharing best practices, and developing tools that can help volunteers and judges identify children who have been sexually exploited or are likely to be so.

National CASA/GAL is also working to help our programs recruit and train new CASA and GAL volunteers to work with these children.

Finally, we are working to increase coordination with local child welfare professionals and courts and developing collaborations between local CASA and GAL programs and other community partners like law enforcement and schools.

It’s an ambitious agenda, but we know it can be done.

Help us reach every community and every child in the crosshairs of traffickers.