State Offers Guidance to Help Counties Opt Into New State-funded Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2015
Kate Walker (510) 835-8098, email@example.com
OAKLAND – The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has released guidance to help counties opt into the new state-funded Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program created last year with the passage of SB 855. The Model Interagency Protocol Framework (Model Framework), which accompanies the All County Information Notice (ACIN) provides a structure for counties to coordinate the multiple systems that serve this vulnerable population. Counties can use the Model Framework to assist them in fulfilling the requirements of and opt into the CSEC Program, which will make them eligible for additional funding beginning in July.
Counties that elect to participate in the CSEC Program must create an interagency protocol for serving children who have been commercially sexually exploited, or who are at risk of such exploitation. The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) worked with the Child Welfare Council’s CSEC Action Team to create the Model Framework, which provides guiding principles for how counties should structure their CSEC protocol, which agencies/organizations should be involved (both required and suggested according to statute), and the responsibilities of each participating agency. In addition to laying out the legal requirements to participate in the CSEC Program, the Model Framework offers important suggestions for improving overall coordination among the many agencies and organizations that serve child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. These suggestions are based on research of local, state, and national promising practices for serving CSEC. CDSS encourages all counties to refer to the Model Framework as they embark on developing their own protocols.
In addition to the Model Framework, a forthcoming CSEC Practice Guidance Toolkit (Toolkit) will provide a set of practice-based documents that build on the Model Framework. The Toolkit will include detailed information on each agency’s roles and responsibilities as they relate to critical protocol elements such as coordinated case management and the use of multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), interagency data and information sharing, and an overarching protocol in the form of a template memorandum of understanding that counties may adapt to their own needs. The Toolkit will be released in late spring of 2015.