Office of the Governor's Child Sex Trafficking Team June Newsletter

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Office of the Texas Governor, Child Sex Trafficking Team

Dear Partners:

We are in a difficult season, to be sure. From dealing with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to grappling with injustices against our black brothers and sisters.

Now more than ever, we must continue to be effective in our work, protect the most vulnerable among us, and seek justice within our communities. But to do that, it is imperative that we take care of ourselves and others. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

In that spirit, we remind you to take some time to take care of you and yours during these trying times.

Be well,


CSTT Monthly Webinar Series

No Buyers No Business - CEASE Texas: June 11th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM

  • This month, we will be learning about CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Texas. Jamey Caruthers, Children at Risk's Senior Staff Attorney, will describe the “market landscape” of each of the CEASE Texas regions, explore how the attitudes and actions of both exploited individuals and sex buyers are changing in the face of COVID-19, and explain how you can get involved to reduce the demand for commercial sex.

Register for this webinar


Legal Representation for CSEY and Former Foster Youth: July 9th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM

  • Sarah Worthington, from Texas Rural Legal Aid's Foster Youth Justice Project, will educate us on legal services available to youth who have aged out of the foster care system and other vulnerable youth, including sexually exploited youth.

Register for this webinar


CSTT Research Resources

In order to enhance expertise in our state and to meet our legislative charge to collect, analyze and distribute relevant research to agencies and nonprofit organizations, CSTT provides Research Resources, a curated list of relevant research articles, complete with summaries by CSTT, from the last three to five years. The articles are primarily from peer-reviewed journals and are organized by CSTT’s five overarching goals: protect, recognize, recover, support healing, and bring justice. Read the latest iteration here

New Partnership to Better Identify CSEY and Understand Data about Exploitation

A new partnership between Allies Against Slavery (Allies) and WestCoast Children’s Clinic (WCCC) will improve opportunities for organizations to identify CSEY and help organizations to develop more targeted programmatic solutions based on real-time data. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation – Identification Tool (CSE-IT), developed by WCCC, is now completed within Allies’ Lighthouse software platform. This provides CSE-IT users the ability to use this information to improve their understanding of the youth’s experiences and vulnerabilities, benefitting service planning. Integration with Lighthouse, developed specifically to support CSEY responders, provides those agencies with a dashboard to visualize screening data trends for strategic planning.

Stay tuned for additional information and trainings. If you are already certified in the use of the tool and your agency has previously completed these with WCCC, check Eventbrite for opportunities to register for webinars about integration of the tool in Lighthouse.

June is Internet Safety Month

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) recorded a 106% increase in CyberTipline reports of suspected child sexual exploitation, rising from 983,734 reports in March 2019 to 2,027,520 in March 2020. While this could be partly the result of more people reporting abuse, it is likely also the result of an increase in exploitation of children online. There are reports of child predators giving each other advice on how to take advantage of the current situation, with more children at home and on electronic devices due to the pandemic, to entice children to produce sexually explicit material.

Fortunately, Texas law enforcement agencies are proactively seeking out online exploitation, arresting suspects, and protecting children. McLennan County Sherrif's Office recently arrested 20 suspects who solicited in person or online sexual abuse of an undercover officer posing as a teenager. Law enforcement personnel and prosecutors who would like to learn more about this operation and how to replicate it can contact us for an invitation to a webinar this Thursday.

Additionally there are several free and easily accessible resources to increase online safety (e.g., videos, games, tip sheets) for children, youth, and their families and caregivers at NCMEC's Netsmartz site.

Training Opportunities

Keeping Students Safe

  • Unbound's Keeping Students Safe Project is supported by a grant from the Child Sex Trafficking Team. The project encompasses free training and presentations for students, caregivers, educators, school nurses, social workers, and other youth-serving personnel. In light of COVID-19, Unbound has launched multiple virtual training sessions in both English and Spanish.

Virtual Training Schedule and Registration


  • Unbound recently launched a presenter licensing program to help bring Keeping Students Safe to communities across the state. This self-paced online course equips participants with presentations for youth in 6th-12th grade, school personnel, and caregivers. The new training program is free through October 2020.

Keeping Students Safe Presenter Licensing 


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. Individuals will need a work e-mail account with a school or youth-serving organization to register for this opportunity. So far, 99 educators and 40 service providers have taken advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn more about preventing and recognizing child exploitation. 

Registration for Schools

Registration for Youth-Serving Organizations .


SOAR to Health and Wellness

  •  The Office on Trafficking in Persons and the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center are offering a free 1.5-hour virtual SOAR to Health and Wellness training. The training teaches providers how to identify and respond to human trafficking and is appropriate for health care providers, public health professionals, behavioral health professionals, and social workers. This training is the first human trafficking training course for health care practitioners to be approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in accordance with HB 2059. The completion of an approved training course is a condition for registration, permit, or license renewal for certain health care practitioners as of September 1, 2020. 

June 17th Registration

July 29th Registration

August 19th Registration

September 2nd Spanish Registration


OJJDP Webinars

Supporting Heroes in Mental Health Foundational Training (SHIFT) was developed by The Innocent Justice Foundation with funding from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). SHIFT aims to mitigate negative effects associated with exposure to child sexual exploitation and abuse materials. A schedule of upcoming SHIFT webinars is included below and a complete listing of OJJDP-sponsored trainings can be found online.

  • Secondary Trauma & Traumatic Stress: Cognitive Signs and Symptoms and How to Mitigate – 2:00 - 3:00 PM

July 2nd Registration

  • Secondary Trauma & Traumatic Stress: Emotional Signs and Symptoms and How to Mitigate - 2:00 - 3:00 PM

July 9th Registration

  • Secondary Trauma & Traumatic Stress: Behavioral Signs and Symptoms and How to Mitigate - 2:00 - 3:00 PM

July 16th Registration

  • Secondary Trauma & Traumatic Stress: Worldview Signs and How to Mitigate - 2:00 - 3:00 PM

July 24th Registration


Trust-Based Relational Intervention

  • The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development has generously opened up online access to their TBRI training for free access until August 31, 2020.  To access the course, please visit