Earlier this year, the Tribune’s Sold Out series examined how state policies — including a severely underfunded child welfare system — failed to help child sex-trafficking victims. Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives — including the state’s first-ever director of human trafficking and child exploitation.
Kim Grabert, who in July came to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from a similar agency in Florida, said in an interview with The Texas Tribune that she hoped to help multiple state agencies cooperate to help Texas trafficking victims.
We talked with Grabert about what the state is doing to track down runaways, whether online data-mining could help find victims, what should be done about the lack of specialized homes for recovered teens and what Texas can learn from Florida’s example. Below are her answers, which …
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