MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thousands of children disappear each year. The majority are endangered runaways, vulnerable to trafficking.

That’s why Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services created a human trafficking response team. The director says they’ve had almost 500 reports this year.

DCS leaders say children running away from their parents’ homes are especially vulnerable to trafficking.

“They don’t even intend when they run away from somewhere that this is the kind of business they’ll end up in often they just don’t have anything else,” said Kate Greer, Director of Human Trafficking Response Team.

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Right now, the human trafficking unit only works with children who were living with their parents. Eventually, DCS hopes to expand it to every child in the state.