STATEHOUSE (Feb. 19, 2019) – The House of Representatives Monday supported State Rep. Karen Engleman’s (R-Georgetown) legislation calling for a review of how the state’s child welfare system can better assist victims of child trafficking.
In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 59 confirmed human trafficking cases in Indiana, with 20 of those being minors. Currently, the Department of Child Services does not have a dedicated person within their department to handle human trafficking cases.
Engleman said her proposed legislation would task the Commission on Improving the Status of Children to study the possibility of DCS employing a human trafficking coordinator.
“We must do everything we can to protect those who do not have the ability to protect themselves,” Engleman said. “This study would give us a better understanding of how this role could positively change the lives of our most vulnerable Hoosier children.”
According to Engleman, the commission would also evaluate the benefits of law enforcement authorities offering additional services to children suspected of being a victim of human trafficking. Engleman said this would help in the development of legislation and policies concerning child trafficking to effectively curb the number of victims in Indiana.
State Rep. Karen Engleman (R-Georgetown) represents House District 70,
which includes portions of Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties.