It was a bill championed by many on the Right and the Q Anons as a way to stop the tide of child sex trafficking through the nation’s Foster Care child welfare system. America’s tax-funded Foster Care system has been documented over the years as being the #1 pipeline to child sex trafficking. See:
The bill was originally drafted in 2016, but met with opposition, primarily from the nation’s lucrative group home industry, where private investors start group homes for troubled teens and then collect massive government funding through the child welfare Foster Care system to run them.
When the bill finally passed in 2018 as a rider tacked onto a budget bill that averted a government shutdown at the time, a provision was made that Richard Wexler called a “presents for pimps” loophole for the group home industry.
The group home industry insisted that even the slightest restriction on their ability to warehouse children in the very worst form of “care” was more than they could handle.
Desperate to get something passed, supporters caved on issue after issue:
- They weakened a provision requiring institutions that supposedly engage in residential treatment to have actual clinical staff on site.
- They added a “presents for pimps” loophole – creating a whole new category of institution exempt from restrictions on federal funding.
Now more than 4 years later, “the Florida Department of Children and Families took the ‘presents for pimps’ loophole, and drove a truck through it.” (Source.)
How Florida Uses Taxpayer Funds in the Foster Care System to Sexually Traffic Children
Florida is one of the world’s #1 destinations for tourism, attracting the rich and powerful from all over the world, which has made it one of the world’s most lucrative centers for sex trafficking as well.
Florida is also rapidly becoming the go-to State for people fleeing the rapidly decaying mega urban centers in the U.S., and that includes some of the richest and most famous billionaires who have recently moved their residency to Florida, such as former President Donald Trump and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, among others.
Even Ukraine President and alleged billionaire Volodymyr Zelensky has a $35 million dollar mansion in South Florida, where he will undoubtedly retire to if the war in his country doesn’t go his way. (Source.)
Tragically, one thing that seems to follow the rich and famous in this country is the problem of human trafficking, and specifically child sex trafficking, as even Jeffrey Epstein ran a major portion of his child sex trafficking operation through South Florida. (Source.)
The Sun Sentinel recently published a story titled:
The assault spilled into the fifth-floor hallway of the Plaza Hotel on State Road 7 in Fort Lauderdale.
Angry that a 17-year-old girl refused to turn over the full $200 take from two sexual encounters with men, Damion Miller allegedly struck her and choked her. She fled the room and ran down the hallway screaming for help as other hotel guests called 911.
Miller, who had been paying the girl with drugs, would be arrested a week later at another Fort Lauderdale hotel, plead no-contest to sex trafficking and receive a five-year prison sentence. The Plaza Hotel would be cited four times in the next three years for violating a 2019 state law intended to fight sex trafficking at hotels.
More than 14,000 such citations have been issued to 6,669 hotels and other public lodging establishments for violating the law, which requires employees to be trained to recognize and report trafficking for sex or forced labor. Violators are subject to fines of up to $2,000 a day.
But the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has not issued a single fine, even though more than 100 hotels and other lodging establishments have racked up at least six violations each, the South Florida Sun Sentinel has found.
Operating at a sophisticated level was an organization run by a South Florida couple that used Priceline.com to pay for 3,276 hotel bookings around the United States and required “employees” to light candles, practice excellent hygiene and remember “your clients are paying for a fantasy.”
At the low end was the experience of a woman trafficked out of a Holiday Inn and an Extended Stay in West Palm Beach, who relied on breakfast buffets for an entire day’s nutrition since the trafficker “paid” her only in crack cocaine. When she said she was hungry, he asked her, “What do you need food for? You ate yesterday.”
The 2019 Florida law was meant to crack down on activities like this by requiring hotels to take modest steps to restrict the sex trade, under the threat of $2,000 daily fines for violations.
But the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation says there has been no reason to fine hotels so far because all violations had been corrected within the 90-day window provided for in the law.
“Hotels are the main location for trafficking or for commercial sex dates,” said Brent Woody, a Tarpon Springs lawyer who helps trafficking victims clear their criminal records and take other steps to restore their lives. “We’ve represented a lot of survivors out of the Orlando area, and I can’t go to Orlando and drive past a hotel that one of our clients hasn’t been trafficked out of or in. That includes all the big places.” (Full Article.)
And where do the victims who are sexually trafficked come from to fill this demand for child sex in Florida?
Many of them come from the taxpayer funded Florida Foster Care system, primarily the privately owned and operated group homes.
Another article published by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, titled “Innocence Sold: Florida’s foster system provides dangerous sex traffickers with easy access to vulnerable children,” reports on this.
Jayden Alexis Frisbee died last year at age 16. She had a passion for animals and music.
She left behind grieving sisters, a baby brother, her mother, and a grandmother who still can’t forgive herself for ever letting the Florida Department of Children and Families into Jayden’s life.
The state was in charge of Jayden through its privatized foster care system, and it made an inadequate, unstable parent. Jayden was shifted among 12 foster homes in a year and a half, and neighborhood sex traffickers caught up with her along the way.
She died on Jan. 11, 2021, in the bathroom of a Jacksonville Studio 6 motel.
A yearlong investigation by the South Florida Sun Sentinel exposed the complicity of Florida’s child welfare system in underage sex trafficking, through evidence found in government records, state and federal lawsuits, research studies, and interviews with victims and family members.
The Sun Sentinel found:
- When Florida’s child welfare system takes in a girl, the odds she will be trafficked for sex increase.
- Florida exploited a loophole so it could keep sending vulnerable girls to group homes, despite a federal law that discourages their use. Teen girls at those homes have been preyed on by traffickers who sometimes “shark” the block, waiting for a girl to walk to the corner store.
- Young people with a history of commercial sexual exploitation run away from group homes at an alarming rate, and those runaways are even more susceptible to sex trafficking. Yet, once they’re gone, no one tries very hard to find them, and nothing in Florida law requires them to.
Jayden’s mother, Chrissy Frisbee Morales, told the Sun Sentinel she doesn’t believe her daughter would have been trafficked had she not been placed in the foster system.
“None of, like, the drugs and the sex trafficking, none of that happened until they put her in the first foster home,” Frisbee Morales said.
Jayden was in a special group home for trafficked youth when she ran away a final time, records show. It was five days before Christmas 2020, and Frisbee Morales said Jayden wanted to come home for the holiday.
On a Monday afternoon three weeks later, a 911 call came in from a 37-year-old, unemployed man who was staying in Room 331 of a Studio 6 on Philips Highway in Jacksonville. He told the police he’d met a girl at a gas station at midnight and she was on drugs with nowhere to stay. It was cold out. He offered his hotel room, and he said she slept on the floor.
She was moaning, and “out of touch with reality,” he told police. He asked her to leave in the morning, but she was still moaning and said she was tired. He left, and when he returned, she was dead.
Even though she was a child who had run away from a state-funded foster home in a nearby county, police couldn’t figure out who she was, and described her in reports as an adult. She had no identification and the man she was with didn’t know her name.
For more than a month, Jayden’s body lay in the Duval County morgue while Chrissy Frisbee Morales searched for her missing daughter.
“I just had a horrible feeling,” she said.
The complicity of the state
Documents show that the state has been aware for years that girls in group foster homes are specifically targeted by sex traffickers.
In September of 2022, 29% of the teenagers in Florida foster care were in group homes, according to DCF reports. The numbers were even higher in ChildNet’s territory of Broward and Palm Beach counties — 36%. In neighboring Miami-Dade County, 19% of teens were in group homes. In Embrace Families CBC territory of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, it was 31%.
Broward County Public Defender Gordon Weekes reported what he considered “unsafe” and “abusive” conditions in a bluntly worded 2014 letter to DCF after he visited several group homes in Broward County.
His letter to the head of DCF alleged that child-welfare workers knew girls in the group homes were targeted by sex traffickers, “yet little has [been] done to address the traffic recruiter that prowls the area seeking out vulnerable girls in foster care as prey.”
“Knowingly placing highly vulnerable foster care girls in such an environment without protection is tantamount to state-sponsored human trafficking, and it must be stopped,” Weekes wrote.
In recent interviews with the Sun Sentinel, Weekes described a culture that allowed underage girls to stay out until 2 a.m. and return with their hair or nails done, or carrying unexplained expensive items — and neither the staff nor the police asked many questions.
“It was implicit that they knew, and they weren’t gonna ask, and the young ladies knew and they weren’t going to tell,” Weekes told the Sun Sentinel.
Weekes sent his letter to DCF eight years ago, but the state still oversees a system that provides traffickers with ideal targets.
“Group homes create an unregulated environment where children can literally walk out and meet a stranger across the street — a perfect hunting ground for traffickers,” said Justin Grosz, a partner of Kelley Kronenberg law firm and co-founder of Justice for Kids, a division of the firm.
In October, Grosz, a former Broward County prosecutor, filed a lawsuit against ChildNet and several of its contractors on behalf of a girl who entered foster care at age 12, and was trafficked by men in the community during her years in state care.
“Group homes within Florida’s child welfare system have been an open market for human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of minor children for far too long,” the lawsuit claims. (Full article.)
The Sun Sentinel is not the only local media organization investigating child trafficking in Florida.
CBS 12 News I-Team has also published several reports recently, showing how Florida’s Child Welfare system is used to weaponize abusive spouses, and take advantage of families who turn to them for help.
Kids taken from battered mothers
A CBS12 News viewer contacted the I-Team and asked for us to investigate the problems and policies of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.
Some experts characterize what’s happening as “wrongful removal.” They say it is especially troubling when DCF orders a child to be taken from their home, places them into the system, then later the child is returned by a court order. And sometimes that order comes too late.
When it happened to Jabari Glover, he had just turned 10 years old.
“And that made me feel like, this is going to be rough, I don’t know anyone where I’m going, my family is not around, I’m by myself, I’m alone.” Jabari said.
His mom and sister tell the I-Team their story is an example of the system creating more problems than it solves.
“They were like, at the time, kids like you, we are not going be able to find a foster home for you, it’s going to be very hard.” Jabari said.
“The one thing I kept requesting was a lawyer for my kids. They kept telling me that I’m not a credible witness, I have no rights, because a criminal has more rights in a criminal case than we have in a child welfare, juvenile, family court case, it’s just this big system.
“8 years ago, Shakema Glover, Jabari and her three other children were living in Broward County with a man who was physically abusive.
He was charged and convicted for domestic violence.
After that, authorities tell the I-Team he used the phone in the Broward County jail to report Shakema was abusing the kids.
DCF investigators opened a case and removed the children from her home. Shakema was crushed. Getting her abuser out of their lives was supposed to be a new start, instead, he managed to hurt her worse than ever before.
“That’s when my faith in the system changed and I was like wow, I’ve got to do something to change this,” Ms. Glover said.
Jabari and his sister Ze’kariah spent the next 6 years bouncing between foster homes. Ze’kariah says she was abused. Jabari struggled in school and was getting in trouble with police. All they wanted was to be back home with their mom.
“They took many years away from our life with our mother, and now, the family is kind of broken,” Zekariah told the I-Team, “No disrespect mommy, but the family is kind of broken.
“The Glovers say even though Shakema got her parental rights restored in 2020, there had been so much trauma in between that reconnecting is still a work in progress.
“The monster, the beast, we call the system the beast,” Ms. Glover said.
The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform reports Florida has an unusually high rate of wrongful removals, much higher than most of the country.
Records reviewed by the I-Team revealed in 2020, approximately 12,000 kids were removed from their homes, and about a quarter of those involved some form of domestic violence. However, DCF did not provide details, breaking down the reasons for the removals.
“It does terrible emotional harm to the children needlessly taken away,” said Richard Wexler, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Child Protection Reform and he says Florida’s DCF has effectively become “a spouse abuser’s best friend” because of cases like the Glovers.
“Spouse abusers know this, and they say to their victims ‘oh yeah, call the cops on me and they’ll just call DCF and they’ll take away your kids’ and that threat is real,” Wexler said. “DCF has not been pressured to change, the legislature has failed to take this up and demand change in order to stop the suffering inflicted on children of battered mothers.” (Full article.)
In another investigative report, the I-Team reported on a tragic story where a 9-year-old girl suffered after her parents had a traffic accident and ended up addicted to pain killers, which led to the grandmother reaching out to the Florida Child Welfare system for help. Her granddaughter ended being placed in foster care where she was sexually abused until she aged out of the system at 18.
Alexia Nechayev has few pictures from her childhood. But there are two on the kitchen wall of her apartment. Alexia and her sister.
They were taken before the accident. Before life changed forever. Before Florida’s Department of Children and Families came into the picture.
“It just felt like I was being thrown around to anybody without any type of background check or any type of attention to what was going on behind those closed doors where they were placing me. I would have rather been sent to jail. Anywhere but there,” Nechayev said.
9 year old Alexia was living in Wellington when her mom and step-father were badly injured in a car accident.
As Alexia tells it, both became addicted to their pain medication. Then her step-dad overdosed and died.
Mom, grief stricken and struggling with her addiction, couldn’t care for the girls, so their two grandmothers stepped in.
But Alexia wouldn’t talk and wouldn’t eat. Finally, her grandma, overwhelmed and frustrated, asked Florida’s Dept. of Children and Families to take care of her.
Alexia was immediately sent to a so-called safe house, then a group home in Orlando. She told the I-Team, she was sexually assaulted while in the system and she described frequent cruelty and abuse.
Her grandmother told DCF she wanted Alexia back.
“They told her, it’s too late, she’s already in care, you already said that, and if you want to take her back you have to go through the court proceedings,” Alexia said.
She says grandma- who emigrated from Haiti- struggled with language and cultural barriers, and couldn’t manage to get her granddaughter back.
Alexia remained a ward of the state until she turned 18.
“This could happen to anyone, there’s not a certain type of person that this happens to, you don’t have to look a certain type of way,” Alexia says.
According to the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, Alexia’s story is not unique.
Florida’s DCF often removes children from homes where, the Coalition argues, addiction services and counseling might have kept the family intact.
“It happens all the time, it happens all the time across the country and we know that because the rate of removal in Florida is higher than the states that have outstanding, relatively speaking, records of child safety and don’t tear apart families,” said Richard Wexler, NCCPR Director. “Even when the issue is substance abuse, drug treatment for the parent is almost always a better option than foster care for the child because the trauma of removal is so great.” (Full article.)
We have previously reported how over 20 families are now suing Florida for kidnapping their children, naming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others as defendants.
Many families who have had their children taken away from them illegally by the State of Florida are fighting back and suing the State of Florida, naming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families Shevaun Harris, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Health Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Bureau Chief of the Florida Department of Health Child Protection Team Patricia Armstrong, and Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program Attorney Dennis Moore as defendants in the case. (Source.)
Here is the 8-minute video that WPTV produced about the alleged corruption happening in Florida where children are being kidnapped by the State of Florida:
Kevin Ozebek from WSNV Miami 7 has also recently interviewed some of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit:
Dyan Neary, writing for The Cut, recently published an investigative report about a medical kidnapping case in Pinellas County Florida.
This is another tragic story where a family innocently took their child to an emergency room, in this case the pediatric emergency room at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, and then found themselves in the middle of an investigation from a “Child Abuse Pediatrician” whose sole job is to find abuse in children.
This medical sub-specialty of “pediatrics” is thoroughly corrupt, and responsible for incarcerating literally tens of thousands of innocent parents over false allegations of abuse. We have written many articles exposing this corrupt profession in the medical system, and have written an entire book on the subject, which normally sells for $10.00 but is now available for free in the Healthy Traditions store here.
In the case of Maya Kowalski, Sally Smith, a doctor with more than 30 years of experience in “child-abuse pediatrics,” was called in. Some excerpts:
Smith is a doctor with more than 30 years of experience in child-abuse pediatrics. Virtually everyone at All Children’s — maybe even most medical providers in Pinellas County — regarded her as the doyenne of the field. She had spent so much time at the hospital that physicians knew to call her at the first indication of abuse or neglect, and they nearly always deferred to her judgment.
Early on Thursday, October 13, 2016, Smith filed a report chronicling Maya’s extensive medical history. Her formal diagnosis was Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The state quickly issued what is known as a shelter order, directing that Maya be kept in the hospital and forbidding her parents from seeing her. When a nurse entered Maya’s room to inform the family, Beata had already left for work and Jack was on the floor, cleaning up feces, because Maya was no longer in control of her bowels. “You have to leave now,” the nurse said, looking squarely at Jack. “Your daughter is in state custody.” As he walked out, Maya sat up in bed, calling out for her father.
That evening, Kirkpatrick sent a memo to a colleague. “I cautioned Dr. Smith about accusing a family member of criminal conduct as she moves forward with her investigation,” he wrote, noting that doing so “could result in needless and permanent harm to the child and family.” Separately, Hanna advised Smith that Munchausen by proxy was a common misdiagnosis in CRPS cases. (According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are “no reliable statistics” on the disorder, but one estimate is that 0.04 percent of child abuse cases reported annually are “related” to it.) The doctors’ warnings were not included in Smith’s report to the state, which urged that Maya be protected from her parents.
Smith, who retired this summer, tended to interpret cases aggressively. Children in Pinellas are removed from their homes at one of the highest rates of Florida’s 67 counties, and Smith said this is because the child-protection team she directed does “a more thorough, higher-quality job.” (Full article.)
Here is another story we covered involving Dr. Sally Smith and medical kidnapping in Florida from 2019:
As we have previously reported, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has no problem threatening families who do not agree with his views with having their children taken away from them by Florida’s Child “Protective” Services, weaponizing the State’s alleged authority to take children away from their parents for a wide variety of reasons that do not include physical abuse.
This past June, DeSantis criticized a “family friendly” drag show held at a gay bar in Dallas, Texas.
“That is totally inappropriate,” said DeSantis. “That is not something children should be exposed to.”
And while most parents in the U.S. would probably agree with the Governor on this issue, it is what he said next that should concern every parent in America who values parental rights.
When asked by reporters whether he would support proposed legislation from a Florida state representative that would punish parents who take their children to such performances, the governor said he has asked his staff to look into the idea.
“We have child protective statutes on the books,” the governor said. “We have laws against child endangerment.”
“It used to be kids would be off-limits. Used to be everybody agreed with that,” DeSantis continued. “Now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids more and more to things that are not age appropriate.” (Source.)
Threatening parents who do not conform with a politician’s view about what constitutes being a good parent or not by having their children kidnapped by the State and put into the nation’s lucrative child trafficking network called “foster care” by government “child protection” agents, is something everybody should be against, regardless of your political views.
And while exposing children to sexual perversion is probably something that should be legislated against (but punish the parents, NOT the children by taking them away from their families!), what is worse, exposing a child to bad sexual morals, or trying to maim and kill them with a vaccine that the Governor’s own Surgeon General admits is dangerous to children and could kill them?
And yet, not only are such parents not being threatened by having their children taken away from them (which they should not!), there has been no action by the State of Florida to protect these children from their ignorant parents who foolishly follow the FDA and CDC advice on COVID vaccines and then end up with dead or permanently injured children.
In spite of this lawsuit and the exposure by some in the Florida media of widespread corruption in the Florida child welfare system, Governor DeSantis’s wife is recruiting more investigators to go on the state payroll to look for more children to put into the system, and they are recruiting these investigators from military veterans and former law enforcement.
First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a new state initiative to recruit military veterans to work for the Florida Department of Children and Families.
DeSantis said the “Continue the Mission” initiative aims to recruit veterans to become Child Protective Investigators (CPIs) for DCF, saying it’s a good use of their skills and may help give them purpose after serving.
DeSantis said there is a lot of turnover in the position because of how difficult the job can be.
“So what we wanted to do is provide an opportunity for our veterans to continue their service and to continue to serve our great children of this state. And so we are asking them to do that to sign up as CPIs,” DeSantis said.
Florida is home to 1.5 million veterans.
First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced recently that the State of Florida was giving away free government money to Foster and Adoptive homes who were taking care of other people’s children to “fight inflation.”
Casey DeSantis, Florida Department of Children and Families “on a mission” to aid foster and adoptive homes with one-time payment
First Lady Casey DeSantis this month announced that 59,000 Florida families in need will receive a one-time payment of $450 per child this summer, with foster and adoptive families as the focal point.
These funds — as part of the state’s Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative — will aid families affected by inflation, yet are preparing to send children back to school next month, according to a statement made by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The focus of foster and adoptive families is part of an expansion to the initiative to better provide “guidance for immediate and future family needs,” according to a statement from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.
“I am on a mission to make sure that no child in Florida goes without hope, happiness, and a home,” Casey DeSantis said in a Tampa ceremony launching the payment program on July 15. “That means doing everything we can to support those who have stepped up and welcomed these children into their homes, as well as local partners that are already lending families a helping hand.” (Source.)
But if you’re a family struggling with your own biological children and not part of the child welfare system, you don’t qualify.
The announcement was made in conjunction with Gov. DeSantis signing a $35.5 million budget to support those families, but to qualify, requirements must be met. The Florida resident must be a foster parent, a relative caregiver, a non-relative caregiver, be a part of a guardianship assistance program or be a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance. (Source.)
How is this not “child trafficking,” when biological families who are struggling get no support from the State, but those taking care of other families’ children who have been taken away by the State, often illegally, get “free money?”
And this is a “conservative” state??
According to Business Insider, Governor DeSantis took this money from COVID-19 relief funds:
Florida is also a popular destination for seniors who retire to the state, or just reside in the state during the winter months from colder states as “snow birds.”
They are a big part of Florida’s economy, but sadly many of them are also medically kidnapped by the State through the “guardianship” program where all of their life savings are then seized by the medical system.
Again, thanks to some good local investigative reporting in Florida, this entire scam has also been exposed in Florida:
And let’s not forget the other big draw to Florida’s lucrative tourism industry: Disney World.
Conclusion: Florida is a Very Dangerous Place for Children!
Many parents think of Florida as a family-friendly place to take their children on vacation to the theme parks there.
But as we have reported in this article, it is actually a very dangerous place where children are routinely kidnapped and then sexually trafficked, mainly through the Florida Child Welfare System.
**By Brian Shilhavy