Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities


Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking

Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Hub Map

Trafficking of children and youth is a growing concern across the nation.

What is Human Trafficking?

  • Human trafficking is the misuse of other people. This often happens for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. At the Department of Children and Families (DCF), we focus on the trafficking of children and adolescents. But, trafficking can occur at any age.

  • Human traffickers often recruit vulnerable youth with force or deception. They may exploit youth through fraud, abuse of power, control, violence, or physical abduction. They may also threaten the youth or their family. Economic pressure can make a person more vulnerable to being trafficked.

  • Trafficking occurs in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. It is a statewide issue.

  • Many youth who are being trafficked do not see themselves as victims. They may not realize they are being trafficked.
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How to Recognize and Report Human Trafficking in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Indicator and Response Guide should be consulted if you have concerns that a child or youth you have contact with is being sexually trafficked or exploited.

Review the indicators in this guide and follow the directions for the appropriate response.

What is the Extent of Human Trafficking in Wisconsin?

Reports of Child Sex Trafficking Allegations & Substantiations to Child Protective Services (December 2018) summarizes Wisconsin child welfare system data on allegations and substantiations of child sex trafficking between June 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.

DCF Response to Human Trafficking

In response, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF):

  • Has developed an approach to prevent sex trafficking of minors
  • Provides services that are culturally sensitive and youth-centered
  • Provides trauma-informed services meeting the needs of survivors
  • Has a response to sex trafficking in Wisconsin that is comprehensive and coordinates with other systems. This includes:
    • Justice
    • Corrections
    • Education
    • Courts
    • Health services
    • Community service providers


If you know someone who may be experiencing human trafficking, please call 1-888-373-7888. You can also visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. For more information about this topic, please see one of the following websites or reports:

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Human Trafficking Page has a comprehensive list of resources.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources for understanding traumatic stress responses for youth who are trafficked.

How Trafficker’s Lure Victims by Pretending to Meet Essential Needs (Wisconsin Department of Justice 2015)

Wisconsin Human Trafficking Statutes (Wisconsin Department of Justice 2015)

Law Enforcement Duty to Report Suspected Trafficking of a Child to the Local Child Welfare Agency (Wisconsin Department of Justice 2018) 

Human Trafficking Guide for Criminal Justice Professionals (Wisconsin Department of Justice, last updated 2015)

Overview of Trafficking: A brochure for child protective services created by the Arizona State University School of Social Work.

Human Trafficking Dynamics - Power and Control Wheel provides insight into how domestic and sexual violence intersects with human trafficking.

An info graphic about Human Trafficking Components and Services from the National Academy of Sciences

"Promising Practices: An Overview Of Trauma-Informed Therapeutic Support for Survivors of Human Trafficking”. A report from Sanar Wellness Institute as part of the Polaris Project

10 Things You Can Do Today from the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council 2015

Contact Information

Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator
eMail: DCFAHT@wisconsin.gov