State Clarifies Foster Care System, Not Criminal Justice, is the System for CSEC Victims

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has released guidance to counties informing them of the changes made by Senate Bill 1322 (Mitchell), which prohibits the arrest or prosecution of a minor for crimes of soliciting or engaging in any act of prostitution for money or other consideration, or loitering with the intent to commit an act of prostitution.

SB 1322 instead specifies these children may be adjudged dependent children of the court and taken into temporary custody if they have an immediate need for medical care; the child is in immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse; or leaving the child unattended poses an immediate threat to the child’s health or safety. If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the officer must notify the county welfare department to assume custody of the child. To read the All County Information Notice on SB 1322, follow this LINK.

CDSS has also released recommended practices for providers serving commercially sexually exploited children. The recommended practices are intended primarily for county providers who are drafting Program Statements as required for establishing Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs, as well as other placement types including Resource Families and Intensive Services Foster Care Providers. To read the All County Information Notice which includes the recommended practices document, follow this LINK.

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