Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Virginia

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1503; Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-705-30

The local Department Social Services shall notify the local attorney for the Commonwealth and the local law enforcement agency of all complaints of suspected child abuse or neglect involving any sexual abuse, suspected sexual abuse, or other sexual offense involving a child, including, but not limited to, the use or display of the child in sexually explicit visual material. The notification shall be made immediately, but in no case more than 2 hours of receipt of the complaint, and shall provide the attorney for the Commonwealth and the local law enforcement agency with records and information of the local department, including records related to any complaints of abuse or neglect involving the victim or the alleged perpetrator or related to the investigation of the complaint. The local department shall develop, when practicable, memoranda of understanding for responding to reports of child abuse and neglect with local law enforcement and the attorney for the Commonwealth.

In regulation: Sexual abuse occurs when the child's caregiver commits or allows to be committed any act of sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking or any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law.

Training Requirement

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1502

The Child Protective Services Unit in the department shall have the duty to establish minimum training requirements for workers and supervisors on identifying, assessing, and providing comprehensive services for children who are victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking, as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C § 7102, et seq.) and in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (42 U.S.C. § 5101, et seq.), including efforts to coordinate with law enforcement, juvenile justice, and social services agencies such as runaway and homeless youth shelters to serve this population.

Diversion From Prosecution

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

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-705-150

At the completion of a family assessment or investigation, local departments of social services may petition the court for services deemed necessary.

Protective services also includes preventive services to children about whom no formal complaint of abuse or neglect has been made but for whom potential harm or threat of harm exists, to be consistent with §§ 16.1-251, 16.1-252, 16.1-279.1, 63.2-15039(J), and 63.2-1502 of the Code of Virginia.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

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