Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Indiana

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 31-34-1-3.5; DCS CW Man., Ch. 2, § 21

A child is a child in need of services if, before the child reaches age 18, both of the following are true:

  • The child is the victim of human or sexual trafficking.
  • The child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that the child is not receiving and is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.

A child is considered a victim of human or sexual trafficking regardless of whether the child consented to the conduct.

In policy: The Department of Child Services (DCS) will be diligent in its efforts to identify and/or assess allegations of suspected human trafficking as a part of a comprehensive assessment of child abuse or neglect. DCS will coordinate with the local law enforcement agency (LEA) when completing an assessment regarding a child who is an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect and is suspected to be a victim of human trafficking. DCS will coordinate with Federal agencies if it is determined that a human trafficking forensic interview is appropriate and should be completed by Federal agency partners.

The family case manager (FCM) will do the following:

  • Be aware of potential signs of human trafficking during the assessment, visits to the home, and interviews with the child and document any indicators observed
  • Complete the human trafficking screening tool when any of the following apply:
    • A child returns from a runaway episode.
    • A new report of child abuse or neglect with allegations of human trafficking is received.
    • There are indicators of human trafficking observed during an open assessment or case.
  • Complete the human trafficking assessment tool when indicated by the human trafficking screening tool
  • Assess the medical needs of each child suspected to be a human trafficking victim and determine whether an immediate medical exam is warranted
  • Arrange for an immediate medical examination for the child, if this is determined to be a next step
  • Contact the appropriate local LEA to plan for a human trafficking forensic interview, if this is determined to be a next step
  • Consider the safety of the alleged victim(s) of human trafficking prior to the scheduled interviews
  • Determine if the noncustodial parent or other relatives would be appropriate placement options, if human trafficking is confirmed and it is determined that the child cannot remain in his or her home
  • Identify an appropriate placement for the child if placement with the noncustodial parent or other relative is not appropriate
  • Refer for appropriate services and safe placement, if recommended, after a Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment has been completed

The child should not be placed until it is determined that the potential placement is not the trafficker or associated with the trafficker and that the child can remain safe in the placement. When selecting a placement, the FCM will consider that many children who are victims of human trafficking run away from their placements and return to their trafficker or a similar situation from which they came.

Training Requirement

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 31-37-22-11

The term 'trafficked child' means a child who was the victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether the person who committed the human trafficking offense was charged, tried, or convicted. The term includes a person who is now an adult.

Upon the written motion of a trafficked child, or any person acting on behalf of a trafficked child, the court that adjudicated the trafficked child a delinquent child shall vacate the adjudication issued with respect to the trafficked child, if the movant proves by a preponderance of the evidence all of the following:

  • The child was a trafficked child at the time the child performed the delinquent act that resulted in the adjudication.
  • The delinquent act did not result in bodily injury to another person.
  • At the time the child committed the delinquent act, the child was coerced by or under the control of another person.

Services and Supports for Victims

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 5-2-6-25

The Human Trafficking Prevention and Victim Assistance Fund is established for the purpose of providing funds for either of the following:

  • Human trafficking victim services
  • Human trafficking prevention programs provided by community-based organizations

Money in the fund may be used only to carry out the purposes of the fund. The fund shall be administered by the Criminal Justice Institute.