As anyone who has worked with foster children will tell you, most foster children face an enormous amount of emotional issues, many times stemming from the lack of healthy love. And for those who may have been abused, beaten, or neglected, they typically suffer great difficulty connecting with others, as well as managing their own emotions.

According to Dr. DeGarmo, director of The Foster Care Institute, human traffickers target vulnerable children, including those in large facilities, such as large foster care group homes, where they are able to locate a greater number of children who are defenseless, naïve, and hurting, thus easier targets to victimize, lure, and exploit.

He sheds light on the dark little secret many in our society either are not aware of it, or refuse to acknowledge, which is: the highest rate of child sex trafficking occurs right here in the United States. Shockingly, between 300,000-400,000 children are exploited commercially in our nation for purposes of sex each year, many of these children being shipped, or trafficked, across international borders. In addition, roughly 2 million children are exploited in this manner across the globe, and it is estimated that human trafficking generates more than 32 billion a year, which is second only to drug trafficking.

The average age of an American girl entering into sex trafficking is 13 years of age. We have to ask ourselves how do traffickers find and lure them in at so young an age? Dr. DeGarmo states that the access point is sitting there in what parents believe to be the safety of their own home: electronic devices connected to the Internet. The horrifying truth is that approximately one out of every seven children is sexually contacted, or solicited, by a predator while online. Furthermore, many of these children are seriously pursued online by these predators, singling out these children in an attempt to reel them in.

While it may be almost impossible to fully protect children from the dangers online, in this eye-opening interview Dr. DeGarmo shares the most important strategies that all parents, and anyone caring for children, can implement to better protect them from these threats.

ABOUT DR. JOHN DEGARMO

Dr. John DeGarmo is a leading international foster care expert and consultant who has worn many hats throughout his life. Including working as a media specialist, director of The Foster Care Institute, and founder of Never Too Late, a residential group home for boys in foster care, Dr. DeGarmo has had a variety of experiences.

Dr. DeGarmo has a B.A. in History, a Masters in Media Technology, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Walden University. He wrote his dissertation on Responding to the Needs of Foster Children Face While in Rural Schools and is the author of several foster care books, including the new book Faith and Foster Care: How We Impact God’s Kingdom, the training book The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe, and Stable Home, as well as the foster care children’s book A Different Home: A New Foster Child’s Story.

He is the director of the Foster Care Institute, and acts as a consultant to foster care agencies and legal agencies across the USA. A dynamic speaker and informative trainer on the foster care system, Dr. DeGarmo travels extensively across the globe, meeting with foster parents, child welfare workers, churches, schools, and organizations. He writes regularly for many magazines, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, several publications, and newsletters, both in the United States and overseas.

Dr. DeGarmo and his wife are also currently foster parents to three siblings, bringing their household to nine children. Dr. DeGarmo has been a foster parent for dozens of children for over a decade now and is driven to bring education and insight into general society about all things foster care.

Dr. DeGarmo and his wife are the recipients of the Good Morning America Ultimate Hero Award, and the Up With People Every Day Hero Award. The two also were honored with their city’s Citizens of the Year Award.

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