Columbus, Ohio – The Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force announced today the release of a new comprehensive resource guide for children services professionals to aid in the understanding of and the response to human trafficking.
“The interactions our children services professionals have with families is critical in our efforts to combat human trafficking in Ohio,” said Maria Busch, Ohio Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator. “Through this resource guide, it’s our hope that these professionals will be equipped to both identify and serve potential victims of human trafficking.”
The resource guide was developed by the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force in partnership with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Ohio Department of Youth Services. It includes an overview of federal and state laws related to human trafficking of children, an overview of Ohio’s anti-trafficking policy and advocacy landscape, and considerations for children services practice.
The reference guide also addresses:
- human trafficking victim identification;
- interview considerations;
- case planning considerations;
- what to do if a child runs away; and
- how to serve foreign national juvenile victims of human trafficking.
The resource guide also includes case studies with a corresponding answer key to allow children services professionals to test their knowledge on the identification of human trafficking cases and the service needs of victims.
The development of the guide was supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime through the Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking grant. Through this grant partnership, the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services led a statewide initiative to build capacity of Ohio’s children services and juvenile justice systems to identify and serve minor and youth victims of human trafficking.
The Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force was formed to marshal the resources of the State of Ohio to coordinate efforts to identify victims, create a coordinated law enforcement system to investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes, and to provide the services and treatment necessary for victims to regain control of their lives. On January 29, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2021-02D to expand the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force to include five new agencies to assist the task force in pursuing new, strategic, and comprehensive strategies to combat human trafficking.
For more information about human trafficking and the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, visit www.humantrafficking.ohio.gov.