Purpose Statement: National Convening on Trafficking and Child Welfare

The National Convening on Trafficking and Child Welfare will be held on June 10-11, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the White House and sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, this event will support States in preparing for implementation of new mandates under the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 (The Act). The mandates represent significant new requirements for State child welfare agencies, and effective implementation will require interagency and cross-systems partnerships to successfully provide services for the prevention and protection of children and youth who are at-risk of or are victims of sex trafficking.

The purpose of the convening is to assist States in their efforts to serve these children and youth through collaborations that address: prevention; effective identification and assessment; securing of appropriate placements; training of workforce and caregivers; and provision of individualized services and support.  As such, the event will bring together representatives from each State that have a role in implementing the new mandates and providing supports to victims and those at risk. Attendees will include representatives from Court Improvement Program (CIP) grants across the nation, including judges, State Child Welfare Directors and representatives from law enforcement. This event will serve as a “kick-off” to federal supports to stakeholders, who will continue the work of engaging partners to further develop programs, policies and best practices at a State and local level.

Over the course of the event, these representatives will work together as a State team to develop an action plan that will be put in place in their State to address the new mandates. Resources and support will be provided during the event in order to assist the teams in their plan development. In addition, the convening will provide attendees with information on best practices from the anti-trafficking field, including specific examples from State and local entities that have been engaged in the work and have experienced success in their efforts.

This national convening represents only the beginning of the work to implement the new mandates put in place by the Act, and it is recognized that State teams may need additional supports and assistance as they continue to develop and implement their plans in the coming months. As such, we will also provide the opportunity for States to indicate any anticipated technical assistance needs for their future work.