Working to transform the child welfare system.

HB 1775: Concerning commercially sexually exploited children

Two receiving centers are created to provide services to commercially sexually exploited youth, ages twelve to seventeen. The Office of Homeless Youth and Prevention and Protection Programs to report on the outcomes of the receiving centers. These centers must begin providing services by January 2020.

Starting July 2021, only a person eighteen or older can be charged with the crime of prostitution.Law enforcement officers are allowed to take a child into custody and to a receiving center if the officer reasonably believes the child is a victim of sexual exploitation. The Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Statewide Coordinating Committee is directed to compile data on the number of children taken into custody under the belief a juvenile may be a victim of sexual exploitation.

Note:  The bill will be amended


1st substitute:

The substitute makes the following changes to the underlying bill:

  • Requires that officers reasonably believe that a juvenile may be the victim of sexual exploitation for the officer to have the authority to transport the youth to an evaluation and treatment center
  • Requires that receiving centers utilize existing facilities and not require the construction of new facilities
  • Adds to the duties of the Committee the duty to review and make recommendations regarding expanded use of children’s advocacy centers to include serving the immediate and long-term needs of commercially sexually exploited children

Makes a technical change to current law by replacing the term “Speaker of the Senate” with the term “President of the Senate.”

3rd substitute adopted:

  • Limits the crime of Prostitution to individuals age 18 or older effective January 1, 2024.
  • Requires DCYF to administer funding for two receiving center programs for commercially sexually exploited youth ages 12–17 on the west and east side of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Requires law enforcement officers to take or coordinate transportation for a juvenile who the officer reasonably believes to be a victim of sexual exploitation to an evaluation and treatment facility, including a receiving center for purposes of evaluation for behavioral health treatment.
  • Requires the DCYF to provide services to support commercially sexually exploited children.

Floor amendment added, which accomplishes the following:

  • Allows law enforcement officers to coordinate transportation of a juvenile who may be the victim of sexual exploitation to an evaluation and treatment facility with a liaison from the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) or a community service provider
  • Requires the DCYF to coordinate appropriate, available, community-based services for children following discharge from an evaluation and treatment facility
  • Technical corrections: Clarifies that DCYF is providing services to children it suspects have been commercially sexually exploited, and that the services provided by DCYF are permissive.

Floor Amendment (Padden):

Requires DCYF to convene a work group to study and issue recommendations regarding obtaining evidence to aid in prosecution of persons who commercially sexually exploit youth.


Striking Amendment:

  • Receiving centers shall begin offering services by July 1, 2021. Clarifies that receiving centers are located in a behavioral health agency licensed or certified under RCW 71.24.037 to provide inpatient or residential treatment services.
  • Specifies that the services that DCYF offers to children it suspects have been commercially sexually exploited are voluntary.
  • Clarifies that there is no private right of action against DCYF for failure to identify, offer, or provide services.
  • Clarifies that a receiving center is not an agency and therefore exempt from licensing by DCYF.
  • Expands the locations where law enforcement must transport a child who law enforcement took into custody based on a reasonable belief that the child was in circumstances that constitute a danger to the child’s safety and is the victim of sexual exploitation to locations beyond only evaluation and treatment centers. These locations are expanded to include an appropriate youth-serving entity or organization including, but not limited to: (a) a HOPE center, (b) foster-family home, (c) crisis residential center, or a (d) community-based program that has expertise working with adolescents in crisis.
  • Directs DCYF, the department of health, and the division of behavioral health and recovery, to meet and coordinate the implementation of receiving centers and develop eligibility criteria for serving commercially sexually exploited children.
  • By December 1, 2020, DCYF is to provide a report to the Governor and the Legislature regarding these recommendations as well as providing any additional policy recommendations regarding receiving centers.