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Honoring, Uniting, and Celebrating Families: May 2016

Published: May 26, 2016

Today's issue:

Message from the Director of the Office on Trafficking in Persons

Katherine Chon, OTIP Director
Katherine Chon, OTIP Director

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

This month, we join our partners at the Children's Bureau to celebrate National Foster Care Month, focusing on family reunification with the theme "Honoring, Uniting, and Celebrating Families." The National Foster Care Month website provides materials showcasing best practices and information to help youth connect with biological parents, other family members, and their cultural heritage.

The Office on Trafficking in Persons recognizes the importance of healthy family and community connections to prevent human trafficking.  Check out the following resources from the Children’s Bureau for parents, caregivers, and professionals:

Foster Care MonthThe Children’s Bureau also provided a snapshot on youth who run away from foster care and their risk for sex trafficking.  Of the 4,585 youth reported as runaways from foster care, nearly 40 percent of youth who ran away were expected to age out of care, more girls than boys ran away, and African American and Hispanic youth were disproportionately represented among youth running away from foster care.

Read our recent blog on what ACF is doing to assist runaway and homeless youth.  Hear what it is like for organizations to serve disconnected and trafficked youth.  See how youth can thrive when they receive the assistance they need.  This month, we celebrate those that serve vulnerable children and youth, working toward solutions to strengthen family and community connections.

OTIP has issued an increased number of eligibility letters to foreign national minors who are determined to be eligible for benefits as victims of a severe form of trafficking since the 2014 surge of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States. In FY 2015, OTIP issued a total of 240 eligibility letters to foreign national minors, including 186 letters to victims of labor trafficking, 46 letters to victims of sex trafficking, and 8 letters to victims of both labor and sex trafficking. In FY 2014, HHS issued 219 eligibility letters compared with 114 in FY 2013 and 103 in FY 2012.

Last month, OTIP Child Protection Specialists traveled to the southern border of Texas to train approximately 370 clinicians, case managers, case coordinators, legal screeners, and various program representatives  who provide 24/7 supportive services to unaccompanied minors and might come into contact with potential victims of trafficking.  OTIP’s training focused on:

  • the identification of human trafficking indicators,
  • the submission of requests for assistance when trafficking concerns are identified; and
  • the understanding of the benefits and services available to a foreign national minor who is determined to be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.

Fresh Resources:

ACF Briefs International Anti-Trafficking Delegation en Español, por favor

ACF Staff Met with Trafficking Delegation and was able to conduct the entire meeting in SpanishLast month, Rosie Gomez (Children's Bureau), Ana Cody (Family & Youth Services Bureau), Flavia Keenan-Guerra (OTIP) and Rochelle Rollins (OTIP) presented information on ACF anti-trafficking efforts to law enforcement and legal representatives from multiple Latin American countries including the Dominican Republic, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Venezuela, and El Salvador. The visitors were interested in learning about the U.S. response to human trafficking, including its role in developing anti-trafficking strategies, policies, and programs; building health and human service capacity to respond to human trafficking; and increasing victim identification and facilitating access to services. The majority of the meeting was held in Spanish, supported by the Spanish language skills of ACF staff.  Learn more about ACF Programs and Services for Hispanic Outreach

Grantee Spotlight: California Grantee Wins Award for Public Service Announcement

Congratulations to the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) on winning an award for Best PSA at the 2016 Garden State Film Festival. CAST is a Rescue & Restore grantee in Los Angeles and has reached 14,757 in their public awareness efforts since August 2014. The PSA, which raises awareness of the trafficking of foreign nationals in a variety of labor sectors, was recorded in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Thai, and Korean.  Check it out:

Image from a PSA on labor trafficking; many foreign trafficking victims have their passports confiscated by their traffickers.CAST Public Service Announcement

Region 3 Spotlight: Working Together to Prepare for Philadelphia Convention

The Democratic National Convention is coming to Philadelphia in July. The city in which the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution was written is fitting for people exercising their right to vote. Unfortunately, there is another group of people seeking to take away the freedom of this country’s most vulnerable. Recognizing that human traffickers take advantage of large scale events that draw an influx of people, ACF’s Region 3 Intra-Agency Human Trafficking Taskforce joined the Convention’s planning meetings to collaborate on a number of strategies to raise awareness during the convention. This includes outreach to hotels to educate staff to recognize potential trafficking situations, development of a white paper to distribute to delegates, a rotating awareness phrase on one of the Convention’s buildings, and brochures in all of the delegate bags.

Meet The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge Winners

Congratulations to Sustainability Incubator & Trace RegisterWe’re pleased to join the Partnership for Freedom in announcing Sustainability Incubator and Trace Register as the grand prize winning team in Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking. The Partnership for Freedom launched the innovation competition in October 2015, seeking technological solutions to help identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains.

Sustainability Incubator, an advisory firm that helps seafood companies advance sustainability and solve human rights challenges, and Trace Register, a traceability software company, have teamed up to develop the winning solution to help companies better understand and address the risks of labor trafficking. This team will receive a $250,000 grant to support the Labor Safe Digital Certificate, a digital risk assessment tool that will help seafood suppliers and major retailers better screen for risks of forced labor and address high-risk zones within their supply chains.

Good World Solutions was named the runner-up winner and will receive a $50,000 grant to advance their LaborLink mobile technology for improving visibility of trafficked workers by capturing and analyzing worker feedback.

Want to be a grant reviewer?

If you have expertise in serving ACF constituents, consider becoming a grant reviewer.  Grant reviewers are chosen based on their knowledge, education, experience, and any criteria included in the Funding Opportunity Announcement being reviewed.  The Children’s Bureau is currently recruiting non-federal grant application reviewers for grants to address trafficking within the child welfare population.  If you are interested, please register as a potential grant reviewer here

HHS Open Funding Opportunities

  • The ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Street Outreach Program provides prevention strategies to runaway, homeless, and street youth who have been subjected to or are at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse, prostitution, sexual exploitation, and severe forms of trafficking in persons.  Deadline for applications is July 5, 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. Deadline for applications is July 11, 2016.
  • The ACF Family and Youth Services Bureau’s National Human Trafficking Hotline Program will fund the National Human Trafficking Hotline that provides assistance, crisis intervention, and resource assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  Deadline for applications is July 19, 2016.

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.
  • 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.

Other Federal Funding Opportunities

Fresh Resources 

Recent ACF Human Trafficking News



Disclaimer: Reference in this e-alert to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). ACF is not responsible for the contents of any "off-site" web page referenced from this server or from private, third-party, pop-up, or browser-integrated software or applications.

Last Reviewed: February 14, 2017
Archived: February 14, 2019

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