Inaugural Newsletter from Governor Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team

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Office of the Texas Governor, Child Sex Trafficking Team


Welcome to our inaugural newsletter! We are hoping that you find it informative and valuable to you and your organizations. Please send us any suggestions you have for improvement and keep us informed on things you'd like us to highlight in future editions. 

During this challenging time, the Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT) continues to work toward our vision of a state where children and youth are free from sexual exploitation. A variety of factors make children and youth more vulnerable during the pandemic: they are at home with families and caregivers experiencing unprecedented health, economic and other stressors; they are spending more time online, where predators are lurking, than ever before; and they are separated from friends, teachers, extra-curricular activities, jobs, and other protective supports in the community. All this, while unfortunately, the demand for commercial sexual exploitation remains steady despite the dangers of physical contact.

Yet, in true Texas fashion, partners across the state have amazed us with their response to the increasing risks -- their adaptability, resiliency, and determination in continuing to protect and meet the needs of vulnerable youth is truly inspiring. CSEY advocates have found new ways to engage with the youth they serve. While they can't meet them in person, they are providing support and case management virtually and dropping off care packages to show them they care. ChildSafe (Bexar County's Children's Advocacy Center) and its community partners continued to meet virtually during the past several weeks and finalized and launched care coordination protocols for child sex trafficking victims. Now all child victims recovered or identified in Bexar County will benefit from a collaborative, trauma-informed response that meets their individual short and long term needs. Lastly, the new Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council gathered information from over 2000 organizations across the state and developed a Statewide Strategic Plan to assess the current landscape of human trafficking partnerships, prevention, investigation, prosecution, and support services. 

There are so many more examples of stakeholders finding new ways to serve vulnerable youth and re-doubling their efforts to eradicate exploitation during this unprecedented time of uncertainty and loss. As Governor Abbott says: "The state of Texas is strong; our people, resilient."  

See below for trainings, funding opportunities, and other resources that may be of interest to you or your networks. For more information and resources on the response in Texas, please visit: Stay healthy and stay in touch!

- Child Sex Trafficking Team

COVID-19 Resources

Summit on COVID-19 Related Needs of Agencies Serving CSEY

  • On April 23, our team partnered with the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation to host a Virtual Summit for Texas foundations, corporations, faith leaders, and other potential investors in the fight against child sex trafficking. The summit explored the impact of COVID-19 on commercially sexually exploited youth and the agencies that serve them. Please feel free to watch the webinar recording and share it with others who would like a better understanding of needs during this time.
  • After the summit, the CarePortal reached out to let us know that they've launched an online portal that links churches to agencies serving children and youth in order to meet their COVID-19 related needs: supporting caseworkers / caregivers; providing food and other essentials to youth and families; and providing emergency housing (rooms at extended stay hotels) for families at risk of homelessness. You can sign up your agency to receive or provide support. 

PROTECT Texas Prevention Education and Training

  • 3Strands Global Foundation is partnering with the Child Sex Trafficking Team to generously offer Texas schools and youth-serving organizations free access for one year to online training modules to help those working with youth better identify and respond to human trafficking. Participants completing the training will also have access to an age-appropriate, trauma-informed curriculum to teach youth. Updated administrative rules from the Texas Education Agency requiring human trafficking prevention education went into effect in November 2019.  Individuals will need a work e-mail account with a school or youth-serving organization to register for this opportunity.

Registration for Schools

Registration for Youth-Serving Organizations


Online Safety Resources

  • ECPAT-USA: In response to concerns over school closures and use of technology, online safety guides are being developed for youth, parents, and educators.
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: NetSmartz is an online safety education program with resources for families and children of various ages.
  • Love146: The organization recently created a COVID-19 PSA and practical internet safety tips for youth. Love146 also has resources for caregivers and a prevention education curriculum for youth ages 12-18.
  • Department of Justice: As part of its coronavirus response, the DOJ has published tips and resources for keeping children safe online.

Child Abuse Resources

  • Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas: CACTX has developed and compiled a variety of resources for preventing and responding to child abuse during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Protecting Children During a Crisis: Darkness to Light created this free 30-minute training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The website also has a variety of other child abuse prevention resources.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention

  • The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development has generously opened up online access to their TBRI training for free 30-day access. This offer is available through May 31. To access the course, visit and click on the "TBRI 101: A self-guided course in Trust-Based Relationships" link. You will want to make sure you click 30-day access, not one year, in order to get the free access!

Trainings and Webinars

The CSTT Monthly Webinar Series is temporarily suspended as we provide targeted support and technical assistance to grantees and partners. Our monthly webinars will resume in June - stay tuned! Access to archived webinars can be found on our website:

See below for a list of recently recorded webinars that have been made available by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. A complete directory of archived trainings is available on their website.

Funding Opportunities

A variety of federal funding opportunities are currently available to address human trafficking. See below for a list of relevant solicitations. For a comprehensive guide to federal grants, including a directory of posted and forecasted opportunities, visit