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- What were the approaches used by projects to expand community capacity and partnerships to identify and deliver comprehensive victim-centered services to domestic trafficking victims?
- What were the characteristics and experiences of trafficking survivors served by the projects?
- What were the cost of program components?
This report documents the experiences of the first cohort of three cooperative agreement awardees that implemented the Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking (DVHT) demonstration projects from October 2014 through September 2016 in Maricopa and Pima Counties, Arizona; New York City; and Salt Lake City, Utah to improve services to domestic victims of human trafficking in their communities.
Domestic human trafficking involves both forced labor and sexual exploitation of minors and adults, of citizens and lawful permanent residents, and of men and women. To improve services for domestic victims of human trafficking, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded three cooperative agreements in 2014 to implement demonstration projects. In 2015, FYSB awarded cooperative agreements to three additional demonstration projects. The intent of the DVHT demonstration program is to enhance organizational and community capacity to identify domestic victims of human trafficking and deliver comprehensive case management and trauma-informed, culturally relevant services through a system of referrals and the formation of community partnerships.
This publication is the first report from the cross-site process evaluation of ACF’s DVHT demonstration program. The evaluation is overseen by ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with FYSB, and conducted by RTI International. The report presents evaluation findings pertaining to
- how projects expanded community capacity to identify and respond to domestic trafficking victims;
- the characteristics and experiences of survivors served by the projects;
- how projects provided comprehensive victim services; and
- the cost of case management.
The report includes a summary of overall lessons learned and considerations for future programs.
ACF’s DVHT demonstration program is intended to enhance organizational and community capacity to identify domestic victims of human trafficking and deliver comprehensive, victim-centered case management and services. FYSB selected organizations for the DVHT demonstration program that were part of broad service provider coalitions and served populations vulnerable to trafficking, but were outside of the realm of domestic human trafficking services. This approach allowed FYSB to examine if and how organizations that had not traditionally served domestic trafficking victims could build capacity to serve this population.
The purposes of the DVHT cross-site evaluation are to inform ACF’s efforts to improve services for domestic trafficking survivors, enhance performance measurement, and guide future evaluation. The evaluation of the first cohort of DVHT demonstration projects was designed to detect projects’ practice strategies for:
- identifying and engaging domestic trafficking victims in service delivery;
- coordinating comprehensive services across the range of needed providers; and
- tailoring services to individuals who have experienced severe and long-term trauma.
Key Findings and Highlights
- The three demonstration projects undertook a variety of activities and collaborated with numerous partners to develop and expand organizational and community capacity to identify and serve trafficking victims.
- The projects’ diverse backgrounds, target populations, and partners shaped implementation of unique configurations and service models across projects. Projects were: a runaway and homeless youth organization, a refugee and immigrant organization, and a court-based services program. These illustrated three distinct examples of how projects organized and collaborated with community partners to provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims.
- A total of 341 clients participated in case management services. Of clients reported to have been trafficked, 95% were sex trafficked and 25% were labor trafficked. The varied characteristics of clients reflect the diversity of projects’ service models and referral sources.
- Projects met many clients’ needs, however lack of appropriate, accessible services and individual-level client factors were key barriers to service engagement and delivery. Projects and partners provided crisis intervention, safety planning, emotional support, legal services, victim advocacy, transportation, and life skills to nearly all clients who needed it. Some services were difficult to provide, including substance abuse treatment, dental health, employment, education, financial assistance, and housing. Some clients were not ready or willing to access some services.
The evaluation used a mixed-methods approach that included qualitative and quantitative components. Data collection included data collected by projects on clients served and services provided, logs of training provided, interviews with project staff and partners, case narrative interviews with case managers, cost and labor questionnaires, observation of project partnership meetings, and review of project documents and materials.
Hardison Walters, J. L., Krieger, K., Kluckman, M., Feinberg, R., Orme, S., Asefnia, N., and Gibbs, D. A. (2017). Evaluation of Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Demonstration Projects: Final Report from the First Cohort of Projects. Report # 2017-57, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- domestic victims of human trafficking
- Family and Youth Services Bureau
- Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation