Announcing the HHS Task Force to Prevent & End Human Trafficking: March 2016

Announcing the HHS Task Force to Prevent & End Human Trafficking: March 2016

March 31, 2016

Today's issue:

Message from the Director of Office on Trafficking in Persons

 

Katherine Chon, OTIP Director     Katherine Chon, OTIP Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Earlier this week, HHS senior leadership gathered for the inaugural meeting of the HHS Task Force to Prevent and End Human Trafficking to hear briefings from a panel of experts and discuss Task Force actions for the year ahead.  The establishment of the HHS Task Force was announced at the White House in January during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month Visit disclaimer page and is co-chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families and the Assistant Secretary for Health. 

During the month of March, we also heard from hundreds of stakeholders on our FY 2017 Budget Briefing on ACF anti-trafficking initiatives.  Nearly 1,000 people registered for the HHS and HUD joint listening session on the housing for adult victims of human trafficking.  We were encouraged to see how many survivors of trafficking and community leaders contributed to the conversation, including comments about training for housing representatives, the need to be inclusive, maximizing resources, and assisting survivors who may face additional barriers due to criminal records associated with trafficking victimization.  We look forward to following up with concrete action steps in the coming months. 

Keep an eye on our newsletters for more opportunities to provide feedback and ideas.  You can also email us at endtrafficking@acf.dhhs.gov with comments, concerns, and best practices.


Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, and Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for HMark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, and Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health provide welcoming remarks for the inaugural meeting of the HHS Task Force to Prevent and End Human Trafficking on March 29, 2016.


Training Health Care and Social Service Providers: SOAR to Health and Wellness


In September 2013, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), with support from the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH), launched a pilot initiative to train health care and social service providers about human trafficking.  The SOAR to Health and Wellness Training was designed to help providers Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to human trafficking.  A national Technical Working Group comprised of health professionals, survivors of human trafficking, and other subject matter experts informed the development of the pilot training and evaluation.

2016 SOAR Technical Working Group

2016 SOAR Technical Working Group

Last month, members of the 2016 National Technical Working Group met in Washington, DC to advise the implementation of the next set of enhancements to the SOAR training to include targeted training for health care providers, social workers, substance abuse and mental health service providers, and public health professionals.  Technical Working Group members hailed from across the country, including representatives from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

As part of ongoing SOAR activities, Acting Deputy Director, Dr. Rochelle Rollins, reflected on her trip to Birmingham Visit disclaimer page , Alabama to train dental and medical students on human trafficking during Black History Month. 


Regional Spotlight: Internet Safety for Youth in Kansas City, MO

 

The Stop Trafficking Project presented “AwareKC: Exposing the Lures of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and Internet Dangers” to ACF Region 7 staff in January.  The trainer explained how minors can be contacted via the internet, groomed, and snared into sex trafficking.  He discussed that young people casually share personal information and revealing photos of themselves without knowing that pimps can befriend them online and eventually set up a meeting where they are then victimized. 

The ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) provides additional information on the intersections of technology and human trafficking.  Some practical pointers on youth and the internet from FYSB include:

  • Involve youth in the development of policies and procedures related to the internet.
  • Avoid zero-tolerance policies regarding the use of technology.  These are difficult to enforce and can be counter-productive.
  • Create safe spaces for youth to interact utilizing social media.

Grantee Spotlights
 

Home Free: Greyhound Bus Tickets for Youth Victims of Trafficking

Family & Youth Services Bureau grantee National Runaway Safeline Visit disclaimer page  (NRS) has expanded their family reunification program, Home Free, to include youth victims of human trafficking and young people through age 21.  The program partners with Greyhound Bus Lines to provide free bus tickets and also develop plans with youth, legal guardians, service providers, and child welfare agencies to ensure appropriate services are available in their final destination.


UAHT Red Lantern ProjectUAHT Red Lantern Project

Public Awareness in Houston: The Red Lantern Project 

OTIP's Rescue and Restore grantee United Against Human Trafficking Visit disclaimer page (UAHT) co-hosted an event with Red Sand Project that acknowledged the many human trafficking victims and survivors in Houston.  It was called the Red Lantern Project and drew in over 200 people.  The night included a series of short films that required the audience to look beneath the surface and identify instances of trafficking hidden in plain sight.  A local survivor also shared her story of unknowingly getting swept up in Houston’s sex trafficking trade.  UAHT has reached 3,545 people through public awareness efforts like this since receiving their award in August 2014.


HHS Open Funding Opportunities

HHS Forecasted for this Spring

  • The ACF Office of Refugee Resettlement's Home Study and Post Release Services for Unaccompanied Children will promote the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children after their release to sponsors in the United States.  Estimated post date is April 4, 2016. 
  • The ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau's  National human trafficking hotline program will support the operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.  Estimated post date is April 29, 2016.
  • The ACF Children’s Bureau Grants to Address Trafficking within the Child Welfare Population will continue the development of child welfare systems' response to trafficking.  If the primary applicant is not the public child welfare agency, the application must document a strong partnership with the agencies and courts in the targeted geographical area.  Estimated post date is May 2, 2016.
  • The ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau's Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Program will support the provision of specialized comprehensive victim services for United States citizens and lawful permanent resident victims of severe forms of trafficking regardless of age.  Estimated post date is May 13, 2016.

Other Federal Funding Opportunities

  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is seeking applications under the FY 2016 Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking to support comprehensive services to victims of all forms of human trafficking throughout the United States. Deadline for applications is April 27, 2016.
  • The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are seeking applications under the FY 2016 Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Competitive Solicitation to support the development and enhancement of multidisciplinary human trafficking task forces within the United States. Deadline for applications is May 5, 2016.
  • The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is seeking applications under the FY 2016 Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking to support specialized services for victims of human trafficking throughout the United States.  Deadline for applications is May 12, 2016.

Fresh Resources 


Recent ACF Human Trafficking Blog Posts


 

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