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National Listening Session Series: Preventing and Responding to Child Trafficking During COVID-19

In April 2020, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) are hosting four listening sessions about child trafficking and exploitation during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

We invite you to join the discussion about prevention and response strategies at the federal, state, and local levels. Discussion will also include how COVID-19 affects vulnerability to exploitation and access to supportive services for children and youth across the country.

Each listening session will include a brief presentation and a facilitated discussion during which you may share information and ask questions related to the topic. We want to learn about your efforts to safeguard children and youth during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

  • How can we apply our knowledge of risk and protective factors to this public health crisis?
  • Which programs or resources can we adapt to address child trafficking and exploitation during COVID-19?
  • What gaps exist in services to prevent and respond to children and youth experiencing trafficking and exploitation?
  • What systems and interventions need to be adapted during COVID-19 to support the needs of children and youth experiencing trafficking or at risk for exploitation?

National Listening Session – Data Trends in Child Trafficking

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 (2–3:30 p.m. EDT)

Register for the listening session to receive conference line information.

Presenters:

Katherine Chon, Director, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jessica E. Hart, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
Lauren Devine, Child Trafficking Prevention and Protection Coordinator, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Cara Kelly, Child Welfare Program Specialist, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Eliza Reock, Strategic Advisor, Child Sex Trafficking, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Megan Cutter, Acting Director, National Human Trafficking Hotline, Polaris
Elizabeth Gerrior, Associate Director, Learning, Innovation, and Data Systems Program, Polaris

National Listening Session – State and Tribal Perspectives on the Impact of COVID-19 on Child Trafficking and Safe Harbor Programs

Thursday, April 16, 2020 (2–3:30 p.m. EDT)

Register for the listening session to receive conference line information.

Presenters:

Katherine Chon, Director, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jessica E. Hart, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
Lauren Devine, Child Trafficking Prevention and Protection Coordinator, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Caroline Palmer, JD, Safe Harbor Director at the Minnesota Department of Health
Sarah Ladd, JD, Human Trafficking Child Protection Program Coordinator, Child Safety and Permanency Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Pierce Beckham, MSW, JD, Child Protective Services Deputy Senior Director of Investigations, Office of Child Safety, Tennessee Department of Children Services
Dr. Dana Hunter, Executive Director, Children’s Cabinet, Office of the Louisiana Governor
Andrea Sparks, Director, Child Sex Trafficking Team, Office of the Texas Governor
Madeline Hehir, MSW, Director, Bureau of Health & Well-Being, New York State Office of Children and Family Services

National Listening Session – Remote Case Management and Service Interventions When Working With Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Trafficking

Thursday, April 23, 2020 (2–3:30 p.m. EDT)

Register for the listening session to receive conference line information.

Presenters:

Katherine Chon, Director, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
Jessica E. Hart, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice 
Lauren Devine, Child Trafficking Prevention and Protection Coordinator, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
Marta Martinez Hasty, LCSW, Director, Project GOLD, Kristi House Children’s Advocacy Center  
Ricardo Rubiales, LCSW, Associate Director, Project GOLD, Kristi House Children’s Advocacy Center 
Bradel Canfield, Program Manager, Project GOLD, Kristi House Children’s Advocacy Center 
Anna Thomas, LMSW, JET Counselor, Justice and Empowerment for Teens, Sanctuary for Families 
Rivka Wigder, ATI Case Manager, Anti-Trafficking Initiative, Sanctuary for Families 
Summer Ghias, MSW, Program Manager, Freedom from Trafficking, Heartland Human Care Services 
Olivia Angood-Hardy, LCSW, Youth Services Manager, My Life My Choice 
Ann Wilkinson, Director of Mentoring Services, My Life My Choice

National Listening Session – Preventing Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Thursday, April 30, 2020 (2–3:30 p.m. EDT)

Register for the listening session to receive conference line information.

Presenters:

Katherine Chon, Director, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jessica E. Hart, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
Lauren Devine, Child Trafficking Prevention and Protection Coordinator, Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Stacie B. Harris, Associate Deputy Attorney General and National Coordinator for Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Lieutenant John Pizzuro, ICAC Commander, New Jersey
Emily Cashman Kirstien, Senior Manager of Government Affairs, Thorn
Erin Williamson, LCSW, MPA, U.S. Programs Director, Love146

The HHS Office on Trafficking in Persons is responsible for the development of anti-trafficking strategies, policies, and programs to prevent human trafficking, building health and human service capacity to respond to human trafficking, increase victim identification and access to services, and strengthen health and well-being outcomes of trafficking survivors. Subscribe to our End Trafficking newsletter. The DOJ Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, strengthens the victim service response to human trafficking through grant funding, training and technical assistance, and leadership in the field.

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