- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida child welfare officials say calls reporting suspected human trafficking in Florida have doubled since 2010.

The hotline received nearly 1,000 calls last year, compared to 480 in 2011.

The Department of Children and Families said Tuesday that the increase is a result of a successful awareness and education campaign about human trafficking.

Secretary Mike Carroll says very few people are unaware of what human trafficking is, which was not true four years ago.

More than 250 case managers and child protective investigators also have special certification in human trafficking. Training is underway for a new screening tool to help identify human trafficking victims in foster care and in juvenile justice programs.

Last year, the Florida Legislature gave funds to enhance screening and assessment of safe houses and therapeutic foster homes for victims.

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