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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Training Requirements Bolstered On Human Trafficking

Training Requirements Bolstered On Human Trafficking
Training Requirements Bolstered On Human Trafficking

Florida foster parents and safe-house workers who help victims of human trafficking will be required to get training on how trafficking for forced labor intersects with the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Labor trafficking became part of the specialized training requirements for foster parents and staff on Friday, according to a rule change made by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Prior to the change, foster parents and staff were instructed on "vicarious trauma and self-care strategies" and "behavior management activities" as part of training to deal with commercially sexually exploited children.

The agency also noted Friday that once certified, foster parents and staff members of safe houses must complete eight hours of continuing education every year focused on human trafficking.

Through the rule-making process, state agencies that deal with children have put a renewed focus on making sure human trafficking is identified.

For example, the State Board of Education on Monday approved a new rule that requires instruction in child-trafficking prevention for students.

“Tragically, human trafficking is an epidemic in our country,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “Children of all ages need to know and understand the hazards of human trafficking and how to protect themselves from dangerous predators.”

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