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State officials create new position in fight against human trafficking


Florida child welfare officials took a stand against human trafficking Wednesday by creating a new advocacy position to enhance awareness.

The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet announced that Deborah Polston will serve in the new volunteer position as an advocate to state offices.

The position was created as part of the executive branch’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection.

According to Erin Gillespie, Department of Children and Families press secretary, Florida has one of the highest rates of human trafficking of children under 18, and foster children are highly represented among the victims.

Polston also has personal experience working with foster children, having served as a foster and adoptive mother.

These efforts come as the latest installment of the state’s stand against trafficking. Gov. Rick Scott signed two bills earlier this year that provide more support for exploited children and impose tougher penalties on human trafficking.

George Pappas edited this story online.

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