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Human Trafficking

OVC TTAC provides practitioner-driven, evidence-based training and technical assistance (TTA) that is responsive to the particular needs of victim service providers, their communities, and the victims they serve, including a specific focus on human trafficking. The types of TTA include tailored, onsite consultations and trainings in response to specific requests, professional development scholarships, crime victim scholarships, and a number of online resources, including our e-Guide for newly formed and established multidisciplinary task forces.

Examples of types of support from OVC TTAC:

  • OVC TTAC team provides phone and 6-hour on-site technical assistance consultation to members of a multidisciplinary group interested in forming an human trafficking task force in Ohio. The TA addressed various issues such as task force structure and formation, leadership, and membership.
  • OVC TTAC sends an expert consultant to South Carolina to train approximately 200 mental health care providers, legislators, law enforcement personnel, hotel staff, and other allied professionals on the identification of human trafficking victims. OVC TTAC maintains a consultant database of subject matter experts and trainers nationwide who are selected for TTAs.
  • OVC TTAC provides financial support and facilitates a group of task force members from Texas to visit and shadow an human trafficking victim service organization in Georgia to help the task force design a statewide protocol for comprehensive services to victims of human trafficking.
  • OVC TTAC provides scholarship funding to a victim advocate specialist to attend a professional human trafficking conference that builds the advocate's capacity to better serve human trafficking victims.

Human trafficking is a complex problem. Enhance your capacity to respond.
 
Take Action. If you are a service provider or organization of any kind, please reach out to humantrafficking@ovcttac.org and ask how we can help you get the training you need to combat human trafficking in your community. Follow the links below for some of the ways in which we can support your human trafficking efforts.
Two people talking

Have you found yourself asking any of these questions lately?

  • How do I collaborate with survivors to ensure our program is truly trauma informed and survivor centered?
  • How do I engage law enforcement in my community so they take me seriously?
  • How do we support survivors with needs we don't know how to meet?

Working with survivors of human trafficking can be complicated and challenging. Survivors often have urgent needs that must be met. What if you could meet the needs of those you serve more effectively?

Did you know that OVC TTAC offers free training and technical assistance to organizations working on human trafficking?

Talk to a Technical Assistance Specialist today about the challenges facing your organization.

Email humantrafficking@ovcttac.org or call 1-866-OVC-TTAC (1-866-682-8822).

DID YOU KNOW? Creating conditions of trust and respect will help victims reclaim their lives and move toward self-sufficiency and independence. All victims deserve to feel safe and supported. Service providers convey pertinent information to victims so that they can make informed choices about services they wish to obtain, working with law enforcement, legal and immigration remedies, and other options. Victim-centered approaches focus on empowerment and choice rather than coercion and dependency. Learn more »

 

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Victim-centered, trauma-informed services are central to meeting the wide array of needs experienced by trafficking victims. Coordination and collaboration are critical in responding to this diverse population as no one provider can meet all of the needs of all types of trafficking victims. Visit Faces of Human Trafficking to download related materials.

Image of a police officer

Have you found yourself asking any of these questions lately?

  • How do I effectively approach victims so they will talk to me?
  • How do I succeed in getting my prosecutor to take on this case?
  • How do I know what to investigate if victims aren't coming forward?

Investigating cases of human trafficking can be a complicated and challenging task. Victims are afraid to talk, making cases hard to prosecute. What if you could investigate cases proactively leading to effective prosecutions?

Did you know that OVC TTAC offers free training and technical assistance to agencies working on human trafficking?

Talk to a Technical Assistance Specialist today about the challenges facing your agency.

Email humantrafficking@ovcttac.org or call 1–866–OVC–TTAC (1–866–682–8822).

DID YOU KNOW? Prosecutors and law enforcement can experience challenges in successfully bringing human trafficking cases to closure. Working closely with local and federal law enforcement partners and victim service providers will play a role in overcoming challenges, making it more likely that perpetrators are brought to justice. Learn more »

 

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Proactive investigations that use a variety of evidence rather than relying solely on victim testimony are more likely to end with successful prosecutions. Visit Faces of Human Trafficking to download related materials.

Image of three people

Have you found yourself asking any of these questions lately?

  • How can our task force reach survivors who don't ask for help?
  • How do we get resources to support our task force operations?
  • How can collaboration help us prosecute more cases?

Collaborating on human trafficking cases can be a complicated and challenging task. Service providers, law enforcement and prosecutors have different priorities and various ways of operating. Does your task force proactively investigate and refer victims for trauma informed care? What if someone could share best practices with your task force for serving victims, investigating cases, and effectively prosecuting traffickers?

Did you know that OVC TTAC offers free training and technical assistance to task forces working on human trafficking?

Talk to a Technical Assistance Specialist today about the challenges facing your organization.

Email humantrafficking@ovcttac.org or call 1–866–OVC–TTAC (1–866–682–8822).

DID YOU KNOW? The operations of a human trafficking task force demand effective leadership and a unified commitment to the mission and the team. The formation of such a task force is a pursuit of justice, justice for the victim through an attempt at restoration of freedom and well-being, and justice for society through the successful prosecution of perpetrators. Learn more »

 

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Task forces and other multidisciplinary initiatives demonstrate how collaboration is needed to serve victims of trafficking effectively, bring traffickers to justice, and build a community's capacity. Visit Faces of Human Trafficking to download related materials.

Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault: Strategies to Strengthen Community Collaboration to Respond to Survivors' Needs

This five-part webinar series offers strategies, practical tips, case studies, and resources to help domestic violence and sexual assault service providers improve outcomes for human trafficking survivors. This webinar series is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime, Office on Violence Against Women, and Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Family Violence Prevention and Services Program; and State Justice Institute's Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative.

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Title Date Length Training Materials
September 24, 2015 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.33 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.24 MB)

This session identifies court-based strategies to address the needs of trafficking victims and understand the role and significance of the court and judicial leadership in developing a response to human trafficking; explores ways to effectively engage the justice system and community stakeholders and sustain involvement; and considers examples of partnerships to build agency capacity and enhance victim identification.

Note: This webinar contains graphic (violent) images. Viewed discretion is advised.

August 13, 2015 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.52 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.26 MB)

This session shares examples of successful law enforcement collaborations; explains the overlap between human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; explores ways to effectively engage the justice system and community stakeholders and sustain involvement; and considers examples of partnerships to build agency capacity and enhance victim identification.

July 9, 2015 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 3.58 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.23 MB)

This session identifies effective collaboration strategies that leverage culturally specific resources on behalf of survivors; explains the overlap between human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; explores ways to effectively engage the justice system and community stakeholders and sustain involvement; and considers examples of partnerships to build agency capacity and enhance victim identification.

June 18, 2015 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.80 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.28 MB)

This session explores strategies for promoting collaboration while protecting confidentiality; explains the overlap between human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; explores ways to effectively engage the justice system and community stakeholders and sustain involvement; and considers examples of partnerships to build agency capacity and enhance victim identification.

May 28, 2015 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.73 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.49 MB)

This session explains the overlap between human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; explores ways to effectively engage the justice system and community stakeholders and sustain involvement; and considers examples of partnerships to build agency capacity and enhance victim identification.

Capacity Building Webinars for Human Trafficking Service Providers

The following webinars provide information on key services and strategies for victim service providers working with survivors of human trafficking.

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Title Date Length Training Materials
November 14, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1887 KB)

The session features Esther Del Toro Oliver from Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor; Colleen Owens from the Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute and John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Meredith Rapkin from Friends of Farmworkers. Participants learned strategies for improving outreach to hard-to-reach populations that are vulnerable to labor trafficking, and for building long-term, collaborative relationships with community based organizations and nontraditional investigative partners.

September 19, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 798 KB)

This session, moderated by OVC Fellow, Tuyet Duong, and featuring Yazmeen Hamza from WomanKind, Eria Myers from Pacific Asian Counseling Services and David Steib from Ayuda, discusses the role language access plays in providing appropriate and competent services for victims of human trafficking who are deaf, hard of hearing, or those who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Participants gain information on the importance of language access in identifying and serving victims, and identify tools and program models that address the systemic barriers facing survivors of human trafficking who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or LEP.

August 15, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 917 KB)

This session, featuring Sarah E. Hayes and Taylor Loomis from Sanctuary for Families, discusses how two key programs at Sanctuary for Families, the Economic Empowerment Program and the Anti-Trafficking Initiative, have come together to ensure the short- and long-term success of the clients they serve. Participants gain information on understanding and addressing the barriers to financial stability and economic empowerment faced by victims of human trafficking in a client-driven manner.

July 18, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 520 KB)

This session, moderated by, Kristy Cho, OVC Fellow, features Amanda Eckhardt, Director of Programs, Restore NYC and Carolyn Lumpkin, Director of Empowerment Programs, CAST LA. Participants gain information on how to incorporate survivor leadership and feedback into programming, ensuring a trauma-informed framework when engaging survivors, and share successful characteristics and methods for resolving challenges related to survivor-informed services. 

June 20, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 411 KB)

This session features Nadia Swanson, LMSW, Coordinator of Training and Advocacy at the Ali Forney Center and Melissa Brockie, MSW, New Day Center Director at UMOM. Participants gain information on how to incorporate best practices and strategies for meeting the needs of LGBT clients, ensuring safety and confidentiality while building community partnerships to better serve this population.

March 21, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 740 KB)

In this session, grantees gain information on how relationships with medical professionals and health care systems can support the delivery of comprehensive, trauma-informed, and survivor-centered services. This session features two speakers from the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force, Corey, J. Rood, M.D., F.A.A.P., Child Abuse Pediatrician, Center for Safe and Healthy Families, University of Utah Primary Children's Hospital and Elizabeth Hendrix, M.S.W., Trafficking in Persons Program Director, Asian Association of Utah.

February 21, 2017 1.5 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 220 KB)

This session provides grantees with information on strategies for supporting the needs of male victims through their programs. Speakers include Marq D. Taylor, President and Founder, The B.U.D.D.Y. House; Liz Chacko, Deputy Director, Friends of Farmworkers; Corinne Guest, Therapist and Program Coordinator, La Puerta Abierta; and Kathleen Thomas, Clinical Training Coordinator, Project LIFE, North County Lifeline.

September 29, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1454 KB)

This session explores the effects of substance use as a coping tool, service barrier, and mechanism of control experienced by survivors of human trafficking. Participants learn practical skills to better provide trauma informed services including advocacy, safety planning, documentation, referral, and program accommodation. The webinar features a presentation by Kendra Harding, Program Coordinator with New Options for Women, a program of Lifeworks NW in Portland, Oregon.

August 18, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 411 KB)

The session highlights how some agencies have forged creative and strategic partnerships with hotel brands, local public housing authorities, and federal agencies to streamline and expand access to emergency and long term shelter resources on behalf of trafficking survivors. This webinar features presentations from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), about plans for an upcoming pilot program in Chicago, IL which will designate up to 60 vouchers for survivors of trafficking to access housing in the private market.

July 21, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1756 KB)

Three members of the team that worked toward the prosecution and conviction of Mohammad Sharif Alaboudi in 2013 discuss their involvement in the case. The session highlights the complex vulnerabilities associated with trafficking of native minor and adult victims, and evaluates cross-disciplinary collaborative efforts. Speakers identify lessons learned from the case study that contributed to a successful conviction and to diverse short and long term outcomes for survivors.

May 19, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1000 KB)

This session focuses on best practices for training and engaging volunteers for their human trafficking programs.

April 21, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1182 KB)

This session focuses on understanding the continuum of work place exploitation from labor trafficking to wage theft and the role of the Department of Labor in investigating workplace crimes.

February 18, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 247 KB)

This session focuses on how multidisciplinary, long-term collaboration is vital to uncovering hidden human trafficking cases, how various disciplines may have competing interests and pressures and can still collaborate, and how task forces can consider a broad definition of success as defined by the survivor.

January 21, 2016 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 314 KB)

This session focuses on the different methods of program evaluation, ways for constructing surveys relevant to human trafficking, and analyzing feedback from clients.

Please note that TIMS Online is an internal database for the Office for Victims of Crime that is only used by OVC Human Trafficking Program Grantees.

November 19, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1310 KB)

This session focuses on the findings in San Diego State University's recent report on labor trafficking.

September 17, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 893 KB)

The session highlights why victims of human trafficking need post-conviction relief, Vacatur law and other post-conviction relief, and important considerations for post-conviction legal work on behalf of trafficked clients.

August 20, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 5794 KB)

This session highlights what is survivor informed programming, how to utilize survivor informed practices in organization programming and how to integrate these practices in case management during a client intake, and short-term and long-term service provision.

July 30, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF 1575 KB)

This session guides participants through a domestic servitude labor trafficking case study. The session highlights strategies in identifying and building a victim-centered sex trafficking case involving victims who are minors, how law enforcement, the prosecutor, and child protection entity can coordinate and collaborate throughout a case, challenges and strengths in coordinating and collaborating, how the Illinois safe harbor law come into play in the case, who were the players involved, what challenges did law enforcement face regarding jurisdiction, and the state and federal collaboration on the investigation of the case.

Note: Due to a technical glitch, the first 15 minutes of the presentation was not recorded. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please refer to the PowerPoint file for slides from the missing portion of the presentation.

May 14, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 827 KB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 915 KB)

This session focuses on what is the Public Workforce System and the resources available through its One Stop Career Centers, tips on how to navigate the Public Workforce System and its One Stop Career Centers on behalf of survivors, and special programs and opportunities for minors and foreign nationals through the Public Workforce System.

February 19, 2015 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1328 KB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1062 KB)

This session focusses on what civil legal remedies are available to human trafficking survivors through state and federal laws, criminal restitution available at the federal level and tips on how to advocate for these types of remedies.

September 18, 2014 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.05 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 1.95 MB)

This session highlights challenges in obtaining shelter and housing for human trafficking victims and how to address those challenges, how to get creative in addressing housing options, types of non-traditional partnerships, and different considerations in responding to victims in rural, suburban and urban settings.

August 21, 2014 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.31 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 770 KB)

The session highlights strategies in identifying and building a labor trafficking case, similarities and differences in collaborating between law enforcement and victim service providers in a sex trafficking case vs. labor trafficking case, working with foreign national vs. U.S. citizen survivors, and challenges faced when bringing a labor trafficking case to a prosecutor.

July 17, 2014 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View Transcript (PDF 1.04 MB)
View PowerPoint (PDF 362 KB)

This session focuses on the eligibility requirements for a T and U Visa, key differences, necessary documents and evidence required in a T and U Visa application, and when and how to coordinate with law enforcement and prosecutors in the T and U Visa process.

June 19, 2014 1 hour View PowerPoint (PDF 1.7 MB)

This session focuses on confidentiality and privilege issues that need to be considered from a case manager, social worker, and attorney's perspective in serving survivors, how to talk to clients about those issues, common case management and victim service challenges surrounding confidentially and privilege, and strategies to address them.

April 17, 2014 1 hour View PowerPoint (PDF 2.04 MB)

This session focuses on how to identify a human trafficking victim with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD), how to talk to clients about those issues, common case management and victim service challenges surrounding confidentially and privilege and strategies to address them, tips for communicating with a human trafficking victim with an I/DD, and resources to utilize when working with a human trafficking victim with an I/DD.



The Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide, developed by the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, is an e-learning tool providing:

  • Guidance on how to form and develop new human trafficking task forces
  • Ideas to strengthen existing human trafficking task forces
  • Creative strategies, examples, and lessons learned from existing task forces
  • Links to tools, trainings, and resources, including case studies

If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties, please contact OVC TTAC at HumanTrafficking@ovcttac.org or 1–866–OVC–TTAC (1–866–682–8822).

Let Others Know About This Resource
Download Flier (pdf, 206KB) to print and distribute.
Link to Us from your Web site.
Download Launch Packet (includes all resources and sample e-blast).

For more information or questions about the e-Guide, please e-mail HumanTrafficking@ovcttac.org.

Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) supports victim service organizations in providing trauma-informed, victim-centered, and culturally appropriate services for victims of human trafficking through a variety of grant initiatives, including:

  • Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking
  • Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Enhanced Collaborative Model To Combat Human Trafficking
  • Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Project Beacon: Increasing Services for Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Sex Trafficking

The OVC Human Trafficking Grantee Spotlight highlights the work and promising practices of OVC's Human Trafficking Grantees in serving victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, it provides a space for grantees to relate to, identify with, and further engage with one another, the anti-trafficking community, and our many allied partners.

Spotlight grantees are selected on a quarterly basis based on grant type and grant end date. We want to share and highlight the great work OVC grantees are doing in the field.

Featured Grantee Spotlights
 
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking Logo   Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
OVC Training and Technical Assistance Human Trafficking Grantee, 2015

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit human rights organization working to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking by providing comprehensive lifesaving services to survivors and creating a platform to advocate for groundbreaking policies and legislation. CAST has helped empower survivors to become leading voices in shaping policy and public awareness to ultimately end modern-day slavery. CAST’s program areas include Emergency Response, Intensive Case Management, Shelter, Legal Services, Survivor Empowerment, Outreach and Training, and Policy and Advocacy.

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CAST created the Comprehensive Training and Technical Assistance (CTTA) project to increase human trafficking victims' access to the full spectrum of legal remedies offered by trained specialized legal service providers to increase victims' safety, financial well-being, independence, and self-sufficiency.

CAST's CTTA project seeks to—

  1. Improve the quality and quantity of legal services training and technical assistance available for legal service providers and pro bono attorneys across the United States; and
  2. Improve social service provider capacity to identify the legal service needs of human trafficking victims, provide reliable referrals, and work effectively with legal service providers.

CAST's CTTA project team excels at delivering effective training and technical assistance in multiple formats to service providers across the Nation. One of the team’s strengths is its experienced attorneys dedicated solely to providing training and technical assistance. To date, CAST has trained 297 attorneys in California, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, North Dakota, New Jersey, Georgia, and Louisiana through the organization’s comprehensive legal remedies for human trafficking survivors in-person training, wherein attorneys learn practical skills related to identifying human trafficking survivors, ethical considerations, immigration remedies, criminal victim rights, civil relief, and more. CAST has also trained 350 social service providers on best practices for working in multidisciplinary teams to understand the human trafficking legal framework. This includes learning about privilege and confidentiality, intake best practices, and legal remedies available to human trafficking survivors in the aforementioned states.

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CAST's CTTA project provides robust training and technical assistance to legal and social service providers across the Nation. For legal service providers, CAST can answer case-related legal questions, review initial T visa cover letters and client declarations, and assist in responding to Requests for Additional Evidence for immigration purposes and other court documents. For social service providers, CAST offers support regarding legal processes, best practices in maintaining confidentiality, and navigating the relationships and work within multidisciplinary teams.

CAST also offers working group calls and in-person and virtual trainings to help attorneys and service providers stay updated on current legal issues and practices within the human trafficking field. These services include—

  • Pro bono training for attorneys interested in legal advocacy and supports for victims of human trafficking.
  • Weekly legal anti-trafficking working groups for legal professionals to ask questions and share case experiences.
  • Monthly social services technical assistance calls for victim service providers to ask questions and learn strategies on supporting the legal needs of their clients.
  • A 16-hour legal training titled A Practical Guide for Attorneys Serving U.S. and Foreign National Trafficking Victims.
  • An 8-hour legal services training for social service providers to gain a better understanding of how to partner with attorneys to support victims of human trafficking.

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CAST has learned many lessons from its in-person trainings and national technical assistance. Many service providers have questions about the legal definition of human trafficking and require more information about the various forms of legal relief available for human trafficking survivors, including victims’ rights enforcement, civil remedies, and immigration relief.

CAST has also tracked trends in its work, identifying many barriers that make it difficult for human trafficking survivors to access legal services:

  • For immigration relief, there is an annual cap of 5,000 T visas available for foreign national human trafficking survivors, but no more than 1,000 T visas (not including derivative visas for family members) have ever been approved in a given year. (Data Set: Form I-914, "Application for T Nonimmigrant Status," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, November 21, 2017.)
  • CAST routinely identifies survivors who have lengthy criminal records from activities their traffickers forced them to commit while being exploited.
    • Many survivors have open criminal cases pending against them in multiple jurisdictions and continue to be mistakenly treated as criminals instead of victims of crimes.
    • Many survivors are unaware that they may be eligible to have their criminal records cleared because of new human trafficking vacatur and expungement laws in a growing number of states.
  • Human trafficking victims rarely receive consultation about civil damages for which they might be eligible, despite often having claims for thousands (if not millions) of dollars in damages.

CAST is working to ensure victim service providers and survivors are aware of and have access to the spectrum of legal remedies available under the law.

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CAST provides indepth technical assistance and creates practical publications in many areas of victim law:

Register for CAST's listservs to obtain the most current publications and resources and join its weekly and monthly calls:

Learn more about all of the training and technical assistance services CAST provides:

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If you have further questions, please email CAST’s Technical Assistance Hotline at technicalassistance@castla.org.

Website: www.castla.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CASTLosAngeles
Twitter: @CASTLA
Instagram: @castlosangeles

 
International Institute of Buffalo Logo   International Institute of Buffalo
Enhanced Collaborative Model Human Trafficking Grantee, 2015

The International Institute of Buffalo’s mission is to make Western New York a better place for, and because of, refugees and immigrants. To achieve this, the institute offers integration, refugee resettlement, and employment programs; provides services to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking; offers translation and interpretation services to break down language barriers; presents global education programs for students, adults, and businesses; and hosts international visitors through the U.S. State Department.

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The International Institute of Buffalo has been developing a comprehensive service model for survivors of human trafficking for nearly 10 years. The institute continues to build on trauma- informed, individualized services by identifying key gaps and implementing innovative projects and partnerships to meet all survivors' needs.

The institute identified housing as a significant need and is currently piloting a Housing First Program for survivors of human trafficking engaged in its intensive case management program. This pilot program provides survivors with independent housing and assists each enrolled participant with the supports necessary to identify and maintain a safe, stable living environment, so as to allow them the time and space to focus on minimizing other vulnerabilities to homelessness and exploitation. The pilot program will be formally evaluated, using indicators to assess safety and client progress.

The institute is also designing and implementing a project to address the intersection of opioids and human trafficking. Western New York, like many communities across the country, is struggling with the opioid crisis. In 2016, there were 256 deaths in Erie County due to opioid overdoses. Four of these individuals were known survivors of human trafficking. The institute and its fellow task force members from the Western New York Anti-Trafficking Task Force are facing this sad reality in creative and aggressive ways by—

  • Providing technical assistance and educational trainings.
  • Prosecuting traffickers who use opioids to control and coerce victims.
  • Maintaining a presence in both the Buffalo and Rochester Human Trafficking Courts, where 85 to 90 percent of victim defendants have a current or recent opioid addiction at the time of their arrest.
  • Increasing identification through new collaborations, including funding through a county grant that helps to support the co-location of institute team members with child protective services (investigative) and children services (ongoing) once a week; there is also a plan to co-locate at community health centers.

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The International Institute of Buffalo provides intensive case management support and advocacy for any and all survivors of human trafficking identified in Western New York. The institute has specialized services for females, males, youth, immigrants, U.S. citizens, members of the LGBT community, and victims and survivors of labor and sex trafficking. Services are grounded in the principles of harm-reduction and trauma-informed care. Survivors drive all that the institute does and are paid as consultants for contributing to the institute’s outreach, training, and public awareness efforts.

All services to victims and survivors of human trafficking are provided free of charge regardless of immigration status and support the following needs:

  • Safety
  • Legal and court
  • Housing
  • Basic needs (clothing, food, personal items)
  • Medical
  • Social service benefits
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Crime victim help

Along with providing intensive case management and links to myriad specialized services in the community, the institute continues to fulfill its roles as co-facilitator of the Western New York Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the primary service partner for the Buffalo Human Trafficking Intervention Court. The institute has a program focused specifically on exploited and trafficked youth that not only works directly with this vulnerable population, but has started working onsite at the Erie County Department of Social Services to increase identification and case coordination.

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The International Institute of Buffalo has developed an informal self-evaluation, conducted biannually, to assess the level at which current policies, procedures, and practices are utilizing the tenets of trauma-informed care. The institute believes this practice keeps it accountable to its beliefs and mission within individual client work, department programmatic work, and throughout the institute as a whole.

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The International Institute of Buffalo provides interpreting and translation services to providers from health care, criminal justice/court, education, nonprofit, and other organizations in the field. This resource is available nationally via phone and/or video and is not specific to human trafficking. To learn more or request training or consultation, call 716–883–1900 or email languageservicesassistant@iibuff.org.

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International Institute of Buffalo
864 Delaware Avenue
716–883–1900
www.iibuff.org

Amy Fleischauer
Director of Survivor Support Services
afleischauer@iibuff.org

 
The Salvation Army Wake County: Project FIGHT Logo   The Salvation Army Wake County: Project FIGHT
OVC Comprehensive Services Human Trafficking Grantee, 2014

The Salvation Army is deeply committed to the fight against modern-day human trafficking, including for the purposes of both commercial sexual and labor exploitation. This commitment emerges from The Salvation Army's mission and is rooted in the organization's early history. The Salvation Army of Wake County’s Project FIGHT (Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking) provides case management for victims of human trafficking and works to generate education and awareness about human trafficking in the community.

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Project FIGHT leads and participates in North Carolina's Rapid Response Teams (RRT). These multidisciplinary teams of direct service agencies, emergency responders, and law enforcement provide assistance within the first 24 to 72 hours of an identified human trafficking victim’s recovery and rehabilitation process. There are nine teams across the state, and they integrate the following core competencies into their work:

  • Communicating nonjudgmentally (regarding sexuality, gender identification, religion, nationality, etc.) and compassionately with human trafficking victims, their families, and friends.
  • Understanding the importance of survivors' rights to self-determination.
  • Knowing state and national laws, rules, and regulations regarding human trafficking, including mandatory reporting responsibilities.
  • Knowing the laws and ethical principles that apply to medical, legal, and advocacy responders.
  • Providing culturally competent assessments, interventions, and prevention programming.
  • Recognizing factors that increase vulnerability to human trafficking (e.g., disability, age, nationality, etc.) while in no way blaming victims for these vulnerabilities.
  • Asking developmentally appropriate questions when interviewing victims.

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Project FIGHT, established in 2011, focuses on the following four major service components:

  1. Education/Awareness
  2. Outreach
  3. Collaboration
  4. Intensive Case Management

Project FIGHT provides services to male, female, and LGBTQ individuals of all ages, serving both domestic and foreign-born clients. The project has eight dedicated case managers throughout the state of North Carolina who provide crisis intervention and comprehensive case management for survivors of human trafficking and lead RRTs in Raleigh, Greenville, New Bern, Charlotte, and Asheville. These managers coordinate the vast array of services a survivor may need from the time of victim identification through independence and recovery:

  • Food, housing, clothing
  • Safety planning
  • Dental and medical care
  • Mental health
  • Identification
  • Documentation
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Immigration
  • Legal assistance
  • English as a second language classes

Project FIGHT also operates a 24-hour hotline specifically for law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim service providers to access immediate support, referrals, and RRTs in the state. The hotline works in coordination with the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

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Without data to predict the potential number of victims across the state, Project FIGHT was established to handle 12 cases over 2 years; however, by the second month, those 12 cases were opened. Since 2011, Project FIGHT has served individuals from more than 400 referrals and has opened 162 cases for case management services.

Project FIGHT has built relationships across the state with law enforcement, medical professionals, sexual assault agencies, refugee services, employment programs, other anti-trafficking organizations, and legal service providers to promote their actions in order to correctly identify victims and provide the services they need. Project FIGHT understands the value in these relationships and works to maintain them through consistent and reliable information and resource sharing, offering assistance and strategies to fill gaps in victim services and by showing up to the table.

Project FIGHT has a presence at all state-level human trafficking meetings and is a member of the North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NCCAHT). The North Carolina Legislature appointed a representative from Project FIGHT to serve on the board for the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission on behalf of NCCAHT. Project FIGHT is the local area coordinator for the RRTs of the Triangle, Greenville, and New Bern, with representation on all local RRTs.

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The Salvation Army is available to provide Human Trafficking 101 training for groups interested in increasing community members’ awareness. This training includes an overview of human trafficking, how to identify victims of human trafficking, examples of what human trafficking can look like in a community, whom to contact for support, and what community members can do to stop human trafficking. The organization also offers specific trainings on a variety of topics regarding human trafficking for more advanced groups. For additional information on advanced group topics, email projectfight@wakearmy.org.

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Project FIGHT Copyright
Project FIGHT Copyright

Project FIGHT
The Salvation Army of Wake County
P.O. Box 27584
Raleigh, NC 27611
projectfight@wakearmy.org
www.projectfightnc.org

Elizabeth Hunter
The Salvation Army
Project FIGHT Coordinator
919–390–6738
elizabeth.hunter@uss.salvationarmy.org

 

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Past Grantee Spotlights

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Summer 2017

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Summer 2017

Bay Area Legal Aid Logo   Bay Area Legal Aid
OVC Specialized Services Human Trafficking Grantee, 2014

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) provides low-income clients with free civil legal assistance, including legal advice and counsel, effective referrals, and legal representation. They believe access to legal advocacy is critical to ensuring that Bay Area residents who live in poverty understand and assert their rights in order to create stability for themselves and their families. BayLegal provides a piece of this work through the Trafficked Youth Advocacy Project. The goal of this project, part of the larger Youth Justice Project, is to end the exploitation of youth by ensuring lasting safety, stability, and permanency. By providing integrated civil legal assistance, this BayLegal project assures that trafficked youth have access to the services and benefits they need to begin the recovery process in a safe and stable way.

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BayLegal's Youth Justice Project (YJP) provides complementary support to an array of local organizations that serve victims and survivors of human trafficking. YJP uses its expertise and experience in youth-focused programming and legal practice to impact the high concentration of survivors of trafficking in the region. Many of the service organizations within the five California counties that YJP serves (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) provide vital, comprehensive services, but do not have the capacity to provide legal expertise and services.

BayLegal uses its in-house experience to provide legal support to youth and young adults (ages 13–26) who are victims and survivors of human trafficking. YJP is working with government, legal, and other California community partners to help clients take advantage of a new state law offering trafficking victims relief from past convictions and adjudications. This basic service allows survivors to redefine and understand themselves as having been victims of crime rather than criminals. It also removes civil barriers to education, employment, housing, and economic security. BayLegal recently provided training to other legal aid service providers on the new law and created materials explaining the relief.

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The BayLegal Youth Justice Project (YJP) provides civil legal services to minors and transition-aged youth, ages 13–26, who are homeless, trafficked, or at high risk of becoming homeless or trafficked. The project provides services through a multidisciplinary team model that includes 11 full-time attorneys and 2 full-time social workers.

YJP offers many types of assistance to individuals who come to them directly, and through community referrals, in the form of legal advice, short-term legal services, and extended representation, depending on the needs of the client. Attorneys operate legal clinics, attend regularly scheduled meetings with community stakeholders and providers, maintain a youth advice line, and work to accommodate meeting with youth in the community as needed. Social workers provide additional case management supports that youth sometimes require to ensure their safety and stability. The project also works with an array of pro bono partners (e.g., law firms, private attorneys, corporate law departments) who provide free legal assistance to survivors.

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BayLegal is one of the few traditional civil legal services organizations serving youth directly. Some offices serve youth in the dependency or delinquency context, but there are not many offices providing a full range of civil legal services. YJP's multidisciplinary team was created to fill this gap specifically. Over the last decade, YJP has developed extensive expertise to meet the needs of this vulnerable population and forge critical partnerships in the community to ensure clients have access to additional services.

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Resources

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Penal Code 236.14 – Fact Sheet (PDF 735 KB)
New Protections for Trafficking Victims: Vacate and Seal Past Arrests and Convictions (PDF 142 KB)

*Please note that these resources are specific to California law.

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Bay Area Legal Aid
Youth Justice Project

1735 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
https://baylegal.org/

Erin Palacios
Youth Justice Project Coordinator
510–663–4744
epalacios@baylegal.org

Sabrina Forté
Youth Justice Project Coordinator
510–663–4744
sforte@baylegal.org

 
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services Logo   Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
OVC Specialized Services Human Trafficking Grantee, 2013

The mission of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending the commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.

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GEMS is the nation's largest survivor-led organization and the largest provider of services to domestically trafficked and commercially sexually exploited (CSE) girls and young women. As such, survivor leadership, survivor voices, and survivor expertise are at the heart of GEMS' work and are central to GEMS' vision in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.

GEMS established the acclaimed and innovative Victim, Survivor, Leader() (VSL™) model to support the anti-trafficking field. The VSL™ model pulls from various evidence-based practices and modalities working with other populations, including domestic violence victims, torture victims, and at-risk youth. It informs the internal and external work GEMS provides to CSE girls and young women, as well as the organizations that support them. The model is based on two foundational principles: Survivor Leadership and Transformational Relationships (a term pioneered by the Boston-area youth organization Roca). The six core values of the model that inform all of the agency's work are:

  1. trauma-informed
  2. gender-responsive
  3. developmentally grounded
  1. culturally competent
  2. strengths-based
  3. social justice oriented

To ensure that survivors across the country receive the same level of empowerment, leadership training, and survivor-led support as the young women directly served by the agency, GEMS launched the Survivor Leadership Institute and Resource Center. Here, GEMS provides professional training and networks of support for survivors' professional and personal growth.

GEMS' programming understands the importance of, dignity in, and value to the field in creating authentic leadership opportunities. Survivor leadership is not simply telling one's story, but for survivors to be leaders in their own lives, in their families, in their communities, and in the greater society. This approach ensures that survivors' voices, talents, and contributions are part of a larger framework of marginalized girls and young women who are leading the way for the next generation.

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The GEMS organizational model focuses on three target areas of change:

  1. The individual lives of victims and survivors through direct services and support.
  2. The public perception and changing of hearts and minds through professional training of those working with at-risk individuals, victims, and survivors, as well as public consciousness-raising work through a variety of platforms.
  3. The systems and policies that impact victims, survivors, and vulnerable individuals through survivor-led advocacy work.

GEMS created a robust and comprehensive array of services and supports designed specifically for CSE girls and young women served by GEMS. GEMS' members are overwhelmingly low-income young women of color with extensive histories of prior childhood trauma and systems involvement before being trafficked and exploited. To ensure that its members are equipped with the tools needed to become self-sufficient adults, GEMS provides victims and survivors with long-term, consistent support throughout their transition and development. GEMS' services include prevention, outreach, and direct intervention (e.g., holistic case management, transitional and supportive housing, and court advocacy).

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GEMS uses a wide variety of creative, multimedia platforms (plays, memoirs, music videos, television, film, books, and art) to transform public consciousness. All of the agency's work is survivor-led and taps into the creativity and artistic abilities of the GEMS survivors.

GEMS' Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Department provides indepth, comprehensive training on working with victims and survivors. All of GEMS' training materials, webinars, and curricula are developed by survivors and are directly informed by the agency's day-to-day work with survivors and two decades of experience and expertise. This survivor-driven TTA includes:

  • Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Community Intervention Project (CCIP) Train the Trainer: A survivor-written, 3-day, intensive "CSEC 101" training (which has been independently reviewed and proven to have a clear and significant impact on knowledge, skills, and attitudes).
  • Victim, Survivor, Leader™: A survivor-written curriculum that moves organizations past the Community Intervention Project "CSEC 101" curriculum and into specialized service provision with a survivor empowerment/leadership focus. This is a "CSEC 201" training (which has received stellar evaluations and resulted in direct systems and policy change) for law enforcement officers, attorneys, court personnel, victim witness coordinators, social service providers, medical professionals, and students.

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Visit GEMS or contact GEMS to:

  • Request the Train the Trainer, Victim, Survivor, Leader, or Survivors Guide to Leaving trainings, or to request GEMS technical assistance.
  • Sign up to be a member of the Survivor Leadership Institute.
  • Available resources:
    • The film, Very Young Girls, The Survivors Guide to Leaving, and other GEMS products.
    • The photography exhibit More Than A Survivor.

GEMS uses the following social media platforms: Facebook at Girls Are Not for Sale; Twitter at GEMSGIRLS; Instagram at GEMSGIRLS; and YouTube.

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Girls Educational Mentoring Services Copyright
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
212–926–8089 (Phone)
212–491–2696 (Fax)
http://www.gems-girls.org/

 
Operation SafeHouse Logo   Operation SafeHouse
Enhanced Collaborative Model Human Trafficking Grantee, 2013

The mission of the Operation SafeHouse Anti-Human Trafficking Department is to identify, empower, and provide resources to all victims and survivors while creating community awareness in Riverside County, California. The vision is to create a world of opportunities and hope where exploitation is nonexistent. Operation SafeHouse works toward this end every day by creating moments of hope and providing opportunities and space for the survivors they connect with to feel supported and empowered.

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With a commitment to client engagement, Operation SafeHouse creates a supportive and safe environment for victims and survivors of human trafficking, ensuring their support and the timeline for that support is client-driven. Operation SafeHouse has an open door policy, understanding some survivors may not be ready for services at the initial intake and others may cycle in and out of services and systems as they seek support. They ensure policies and programming meet victims and survivors where they are, in a way that meets their individual needs.

To do this work well and provide excellent service to clients, Operation SafeHouse ensures self-care and internal supports are a priority for the staff within the Anti-Human Trafficking Department. The program directors model self-care to demonstrate its importance for the team and take the time to ensure each staff member feels supported and is supported in her or his work.

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Operation SafeHouse, in partnership with numerous community organizations, provides emergency and long-term shelter, intervention, and outreach services to runaway, homeless, exploited, and other youth (ages 11–25) in crisis. In addition, human trafficking victims of all ages can use the services of Operation SafeHouse.

As the Victim Service Provider for the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT), Operation SafeHouse provides individualized case management to victims and survivors of human trafficking, including appropriate assessments; shelter, health, and mental health needs; legal services; translation support; advocacy; and education, job training, and life skills. Operation SafeHouse provides 24-hour victim response to meet these needs. Operation SafeHouse initiates service delivery by meeting clients where they are located (e.g., juvenile hall, group/foster homes, shelters, and more) to address immediate safety and service needs.

The RCAHT provides training to equip the community, service providers, legal services, law enforcement, and more with discipline-specific information for prevention and identification of human trafficking.

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Operation SafeHouse values the relationships and collaborations it has with agencies and organizations throughout Riverside County and other parts of Southern California. These connections, both formal and informal, enable Operation SafeHouse to provide appropriate and competent resources to create smooth referrals and transitions for survivors of human trafficking.

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Resources

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Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk. 2009. Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others, San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

*Please note that this is not a free resource.

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Operation SafeHouse Copyright
Operation SafeHouse
9685 Hayes Street
Riverside, CA 92503
951–351–4418
info@operationsafehouse.org

Kristen Dolan
Anti-Human Trafficking Director for Operation SafeHouse
760–343–3211 x39
kdolan@operationsafehouse.org