Child Sex Trafficking Victims Services Initiative (2014 – present)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families
The Child Sex Trafficking Victims Services Initiative (CSTV) focuses on building the internal capacity of organizations to address sex trafficking among youth in the child welfare population. Healthy Teen Network, a subcontractor to the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, works with partners across Maryland to develop a screening assessment tool to identify youth who are or may be trafficked and develop training to support the utilization of the tool. The identification tool, currently undergoing testing for accuracy, leverages an existing screening tool used by case workers to identify youth experiencing risk factors indicating their risk for sex trafficking.
Additionally, Healthy Teen Network, in coordination with UMDSSW, is developing a training for case workers across the state to improve their skills in responding to the needs of child victims of sex trafficking. The training applies best practices for promoting skills acquisition through interactive and iterative learning techniques (game play). This training will be piloted and disseminated throughout Maryland with plans to develop a train-the-trainer model in subsequent years.
Child Sex Trafficking Initiative (2016 – present)
U.S. Department of Justice
In one of two grants awarded by the Department of Justice, University of Maryland was awarded $2.5 million to improve the identification, response, and support of child victims of trafficking across Maryland. This grant supports a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional approach to meeting the needs of these youth. Counties included in this project include Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, and Prince Georges County. Activities on this project include improving training, education, and outreach among law enforcement, social workers, and front line staff who interface with possible victims/survivors. Healthy Teen Network serves as a subcontractor on this grant, providing capacity-building assistance.