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Spring 2020
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services Logo   California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2017

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The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services received an Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) FY17 Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking grant.

The key components of the project include:

  1. Engaging in detailed planning with a multidisciplinary team of state leaders and stakeholders;
  2. Creating pilot projects which solely focus on child and youth human trafficking victims;
  3. Developing and conducting a comprehensive multi-day training to identify best practices and improve coordinated local responses (inclusive of multidisciplinary teams) to human trafficking crimes against transitional-age youth (15–24 years) who are not system-involved;
  4. Evaluating existing and new program models to identify effective strategies; and,
  5. Using evaluation results to inform and drive statewide scaling.

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The overarching purpose of the project is to improve outcomes for children and youth who are victims of human trafficking through a multi-sector approach. In particular, the project seeks to evaluate short-and long-term victim-level and systems-level outcomes, including increased knowledge of effective practices for improving outcomes for victims; improved collection and analysis of victim-related statistical data; provision of training to enhance coordination and multidisciplinary response; increased access to needed victim-centered services as a result of better screening, protocols, and implementation of effective practices; and increased opportunities for victims to attain self-reliance and stability leading to improved quality of life.

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Wendy Tully
Chief of the Cal OES Human Trafficking & Children's Division
Email: Wendy.Tully@CalOES.ca.gov.

 
Colorado Department of Human Services Logo   Colorado Department of Human Services
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2017

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The Colorado Department of Human Services Department of Child Welfare and the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice are enhancing collaboration through an interdisciplinary response to human trafficking while also creating strong service arrays for children and youth who are at risk for, or who have experienced human trafficking. The goals of the OVC Fiscal Year 2017 Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking project, Innovate Colorado, are:

  1. Achieving full implementation of a comprehensive, collaborative, jurisdiction-wide approach to preventing and reducing the impact of child and youth trafficking; and
  2. Creating and documenting a well-defined, non-duplicative, and comprehensive service array for minors who have experienced or who are at risk for experiencing human trafficking.

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To do this, Innovate Colorado is implementing four main activities:

  1. Document existing services that either have a trafficking-specific focus or serve potential and confirmed trafficking victims throughout Colorado. Identify resources and services for children and youth at risk of or who have experienced trafficking and are exiting detention or foster care, or who are "aging out" of those systems.
  2. Raise awareness of human trafficking issues by developing collaborative trainings and public awareness campaigns that are survivor-informed, non-sensational, and educational.
  3. Define and document existing collaborative approaches to respond to human trafficking and support the creation of new collaborations in parts of Colorado that do not have active anti-trafficking collaborations. Recruit, train, and employ human trafficking regional specialists to work in partnership with a survivor leader around community engagement and support for anti-trafficking efforts in key regions of Colorado.
  4. Conduct ongoing evaluation of collaborative approaches to preventing and responding to human trafficking of children/youth. The evaluation uses a developmental evaluation design for action-orientated research to understand the program in context while providing real-time data that stakeholders can use in strategic decision making as they adapt to dynamic conditions over time and uplift promising practices for capacity-building and sustainability.

Since May 2018, Innovate Colorado has:

  • Conducted four Anti-Trafficking Community Stakeholder Workshops in rural, underserved areas of Colorado. These all-day workshops included an Introduction to Human Trafficking in Colorado training, an Overview of Survivor Engagement presentation, and a community needs assessment focused on what the region has or would need to support child/youth anti-trafficking efforts. The workshops were also designed to identify a human trafficking regional specialist from within the local community.
  • To date, three regional specialists have joined the project. The regional specialists participated in a train-the-trainer program for the Introduction to Human Trafficking in Colorado so they are equipped to provide training throughout their designated area. Specialists also provide technical assistance and expertise on youth trafficking in their regions. The Innovate Colorado team continues to focus efforts on identifying additional regional specialists throughout the state and will hold a Regional Specialist Retreat during year two of the grant to network, share experiences, provide additional training, and create action plans to ensure program fidelity.
  • Over the first year of the grant, the team conducted 76 training workshops to 38 unique agencies/organizations for a total of 1,547 people trained. This included training all law enforcement officers within five police departments and one sheriff's office.

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Brooke Heavey
Human Trafficking Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services
brooke.heavey@state.co.us
Maria Trujillo
Human Trafficking Program Manager
Colorado Department of Public Safety
maria.trujillo@state.co.us
 
The State of Louisiana Office of Governor LogoThe Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative Logo   The Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2018

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The Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative, through the Office of the Governor, State of Louisiana, is a strategic evidence-informed statewide initiative that seeks to improve outcomes for child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking through a multidisciplinary approach, enhanced collaboration and coordination of resources, and an improved response and delivery of services.

Additional goals that this project seeks to achieve include, but are not limited to:

  1. Reducing child and youth trafficking in Louisiana;
  2. Strengthening identification of Louisiana children and youth at risk for sex and labor trafficking;
  3. Developing a strong collaborative statewide network of coordinated, local multidisciplinary teams;
  4. Implementing a comprehensive service system that supports child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking; and
  5. Creating a sustainable resource database for victims, families, first responders, and providers.

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The Collaborative will consist of 11 key staff, including a project lead at the state level, a program director, and 9 regional child and youth trafficking coordinators (RCYTC). Each of the nine RCYTC positions will be employed by the Louisiana Governor's Office and housed with direct, onsite supervision by local children's advocacy centers.

Each RCYTC will be responsible for the following:

  1. Providing and facilitating training and technical assistance;
  2. Conducting outreach to expand efforts into rural parishes; and
  3. Providing direct services in the form of case management, advocacy, victim service coordination, and facilitation of or participation in multidisciplinary team case staffing.

These individuals will serve as central points of contact for their respective regions for needed child and youth trafficking efforts and resources.

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Dana Hunter, Ph.D
Executive Director
Governor's Children's Cabinet
dana.hunter@la.gov
Kate Shipley
Executive Director
Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers
kate@lacacs.org
 
The University of Maryland School of Social Work Logo   The University of Maryland School of Social Work
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2016 & 2019

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The University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) received an Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 grant to continue to build on achievements from the FY 2016 grant, Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking. The key components of the FY 2019 project include:

  1. Improving the response to child labor trafficking through increasing identification of youth victims of labor trafficking and those at risk; creating a statewide labor trafficking multidisciplinary team to formalize the management of cases in a victim-centered manner, and building a comprehensive and coordinated system of service provision for these youth.
  2. Unifying training efforts for Maryland's professionals by developing a cohesive training plan to reach law enforcement, medical providers, mental health professionals, and juvenile justice personnel with high quality, survivor- and trauma-informed training, convening an annual statewide public awareness conference, and revising and improving existing training curricula with standard, accurate information that addresses sex and labor trafficking equally.
  3. Establishing a coordinated service response for human trafficking victims by offering training, technical assistance, and case coordination in collaboration with grant partners and regional navigators; aligning efforts of local human trafficking task forces; coordinating services for dually involved youth; and establishing a survivor advisory council to provide input and partner with the Maryland Children's Alliance to build capacity of the state's Child Advocacy Centers.

The goal of this project is to improve outcomes for child and youth victims of trafficking (up to age 24) in Maryland. More specifically, in response to the issue of human trafficking and the needs of Maryland, this project aims to develop a statewide strategy that leverages existing victim services, child welfare, and juvenile services' efforts against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The goals are based, in part, on recommendations for addressing trafficking in the state from the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, which was formed by the State's Attorney for Baltimore City, as well as on guidance from state and local attorneys general offices, local task forces and coalitions, and the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

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Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C
Clinical Research Specialist
arubenstein@ssw.umaryland.edu
Sharon Henry
Clinical Research Specialist
shenry@ssw.umaryland.edu
 
The Minnesota Department of Health Logo   The Minnesota Department of Health
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2016 & 2019

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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) received an Office on Victims of Crime (OVC) Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 grant to continue to build on the achievements from the FY 2016 grant, Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking. The key components of the FY 2019 project include:

  1. Developing and implementing labor trafficking protocols in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's state Human Trafficking Investigative Task Force;
  2. Standardizing identification of potential victims of sex and labor trafficking statewide; and
  3. Partnering with tribal nations located in Minnesota on two fronts: (a) direct funding for dedicated anti-trafficking activities; and (b) through partnership with the tribal child welfare agencies, including creation of a dedicated position in the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Safety and Permanency Division to create tribal-specific and culturally responsive child welfare policy and practice.

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The FY 2016 grant allowed MDH and its partners to lay the foundation for a coordinated response to human trafficking, thereby improving outcomes for Minnesota children and youth. In this next phase of funding, MDH will build on the development of the Labor Trafficking Protocol Guidelines (LTPG) and the adaptation of the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center's Adult Human Trafficking Toolkit for youth. The LTPG and identification tool will provide professionals with the guidance they need to increase the identification of potential victims, collaborate across sectors while building a regionally tailored response, remove barriers to assistance, address the specific needs of foreign national victims, and improve services so survivors can heal from their trauma. Furthermore, these tools will improve investigations and prosecutions through protocol-building.

Partnerships with the tribal nations and DHS will improve outcomes for American Indian youth who are experiencing trafficking and are in the child welfare system, including those who are transitioning out of foster care and the juvenile justice system. This will build relationships at the county level among Indian child welfare staff, county child welfare staff, and tribal nations.

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Amanda Colegrove
Safe Harbor Expansion Coordinator
Email: amanda.colegrove@state.mn.us

 
Ohio Department of Public Safety Logo   Ohio Department of Public Safety
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2017

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The Ohio Department of Public Safety's (ODPS) Office of Criminal Justice Services is working toward multiple goals that seek to address identified system gaps to better reach and serve exploited youth involved in Ohio's juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The goals include:

  1. Increasing the expertise of child welfare agencies to identify and refer trafficking victims for services;
  2. Reducing service barriers for trafficked youth by promoting and implementing screening protocols for serving victims and addressing local system coverage; and
  3. Implementing screening processes for identifying potential minor victims of trafficking in juvenile courts.

ODPS is partnering with three other organizations, the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS), the Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (ONCAC), and the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), to provide training to direct service providers, juvenile courts, law enforcement, child advocacy centers, and foster parents throughout the state.

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ODPS and its partner organizations are working to ensure that existing state laws and protocols are implemented practically at the county level. Liaisons from each of the partnering organizations train and coordinate with different sectors that are touchpoints for exploited youth. The juvenile justice liaison (ODYS) trains juvenile courts to screen youth for human trafficking and utilize Ohio's Safe Harbor law to ensure that youth are not penalized for crimes they committed as a result of being trafficked. The child advocacy center liaison (ONCAC) coordinates with children's advocacy centers and other child-serving agencies to assist in local service coordination for trafficked youth. Lastly, the child welfare liaison (PCSAO) trains public child service agencies to identify appropriate follow-up options for minors suspected of being trafficked.

Between October 2017 and October 2019, liaisons trained more than 1,600 staff from juvenile courts and child welfare agencies in 25 counties, as well as presented at the 2018 and 2019 Public Children Services Association of Ohio Annual Conference, the 2019 Attorney General's Two Days in May Conference, and the 2019 University of Toledo's Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference. In the first year, the liaisons also conducted needs assessments within their respective systems to inform the strategy and implementation plan for the second and third program years.

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Sophia Papadimos
Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
stpapadimos@dps.ohio.gov
Veronica Scherbauer
Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
vpscherbauer@dps.ohio.gov
 
The University of Alabama's School of Social Work Logo   The University of Alabama
OVC Improving Outcomes for Youth and Child Victims of Human Trafficking Grantee, 2017

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The University of Alabama's School of Social Work's project, Bringing the Exploitation of Alabama's Minors to a Stop (BEAMS), is focused on three deliverables: creating a statewide human trafficking protocol, developing a resource database, and improving training efforts. These objectives are addressed through improving coordination across existing anti-trafficking efforts and services throughout Alabama. Key collaborative partners include the Alabama Department of Human Resources, The National Child Advocacy Center, Alabama Attorney General's Office, Homeland Security Investigations, direct service providers, local, state, and federal law enforcement, and legal professionals.

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Guided by the results of a needs assessment that included 20 focus groups in 13 cities with 114 front line professionals (e.g., law enforcement, child welfare, medical), and its multidisciplinary advisory committees, BEAMS is convening and facilitating targeted working groups to develop a set of comprehensive and collaborative statewide best practices.

BEAMS is developing a public-facing website that will help ensure partners across the state are informed of available services and training resources and increase public awareness of trafficking in the State of Alabama. The website will include a searchable list of service providers in Alabama that meet the needs of human trafficking survivors. The website will also leverage the existing training opportunities in Alabama and nationally to coordinate these resources in one place. The website will include videos, documents, printable training materials, and a training events calendar.

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Javonda Williams
Associate Professor/Associate Dean for Educational Programs and Student Services
The School of Social Work
The University of Alabama
Office Phone: 205–348–3926
Email: jwilliams11@sw.ua.edu
Chris Lim
Administrator, Alabama Statewide Human Trafficking Protocol Project
The School of Social Work
The University of Alabama
Phone: 205–348–4687
Email: vpscherbauer@dps.ohio.gov

Website: http://sw.ua.edu/

 
 

New FY2019 OVC funded 'Improving Outcomes for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking' grant awards and projects include:

  • Executive Office of Public Safety & Security - Massachusetts Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Minnesota Department of Health - Minnesota's Safe Harbor Expansion to Improve Outcomes for Trafficked Children and Youth Project
  • Oregon Department of Justice - Statewide Coordination of Oregon's County-based Human Trafficking Task Forces
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore - Maryland Human Trafficking Initiative