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The unique vulnerabilities of foster youths—their need for familial bonds, their transiency and frequent history of being abused and neglected—make them prime targets for traffickers.Nationally, 86 percent of child sex trafficking victims were under the care of social services when they went missing, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Jasmine’s story mirrors the lives of many foster youths—bouncing between foster care and family and from school to school; separated from siblings, enveloped in instability and the feeling of being thrown away.She and her brother entered California’s foster care system, where they stayed for more than a year before their father resurfaced in Las Vegas.They moved back in with him, but were taken away when he started using drugs and alcohol and became abusive.The Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) does not have complete data, but a representative said the department, in partnership with Metro, started keeping track last year.They’re also monitoring the relationship between social services and underage trafficking, and training caseworkers to recognize the signs of sex trafficking, said Dan Kulin, public relations officer for Clark County.

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