F. Secure Agency Foster Home

A court in an emergency, initial, or full adversary hearing conducted under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 262 may order that the child who is the subject of the hearing be placed in a secure agency foster home verified in accordance with Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.0531, if the court finds that:

•   The placement is in the best interest of the child; and

•   The child's physical health or safety is in danger because the child has been recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced labor or commercial sexual activity, including any child subjected to an act specified in Tex. Penal Code § 20A.02 or Tex. Penal Code § 20A.03. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.011.

A secure agency foster home which is verified under Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.0531 is one that provides:

•   Mental health and other services specifically designed to assist children who are victims of trafficking under Tex. Penal Code § 20A.02 or Tex. Penal Code § 20A.03, including:

◦   victim and family counseling;

◦   behavioral health care;

◦   treatment and intervention for sexual assault;

◦   education tailored to the child's needs;

◦   life skills training;

◦   mentoring; and

◦   substance abuse screening and treatment as needed;

•   Individualized services based on the trauma endured by a child, as determined through comprehensive assessments of the service needs of the child;

•   24-hour services; and

•   Appropriate security through facility design, hardware, technology, and staffing. Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.0531(c).

Special Issue: Very few placements exist to address the physical, mental, and emotional needs of child sex trafficking victims. Judges can play a critical role in working with community stakeholders to develop local strategies to prevent trafficking and support survivors.