Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has created the following resources to address the issue of sex trafficking of minors in Wisconsin.

 

Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) is a state-level task force co-chaired by the Secretary of Department of Children and Families and the Attorney General of Wisconsin. Its members includes representatives of other Wisconsin departments, judges, attorneys, law enforcement, Tribes, counties, service providers, faith-based communities, survivors, and health care professionals.

The AHTTF meets quarterly to develop a coordinated, comprehensive plan to address human trafficking of youth. The Task Force operates with a set of Guiding Principles. The meeting materials along with upcoming meeting dates are available.

Trauma-Informed

  • Systems responses should prioritize meeting the health, safety and survival needs of individuals who have been trafficked.
  • Systems responses should ensure services are accessible, culturally appropriate, and inclusive of urban, rural and tribal populations.
  • Individuals who have been trafficked should be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect for their privacy.
  • Systems responses should include the provision of information about victims’ statutory rights, service options and the full range of choices available to individuals who have been trafficked.
  • Non-native English speakers should have the option of accessing translators and interpreters when receiving services.  Family members, acquaintances and children should not be used to translate or interpret for individuals who have been trafficked.
  • Shocking or depersonalizing imagery will not be used in task force materials to depict individuals who have been trafficked.  Task force materials will be evaluated with sensitivity toward how language and terminology can engage or alienate individuals who have been trafficked.
  • Service providers should collaborate with individuals who have been trafficked (and their family members when and if appropriate) to identify and pursue strategies and services to promote long-term stability, financial security and independence to make choices for a safe and healthy future.

Coordinated

  • Task force materials will be developed to be easily modified to be functional across different disciplines, agencies and systems.
  • Task force recommendations and educational materials will be shared widely and should respect, and connect to, existing local and regional efforts.
  • Training and public awareness materials will be trauma-informed with a consistent core message that can be modified and enhanced for culturally appropriate delivery to different audiences.
  • The task force will facilitate unprecedented collaboration among state agencies, private and public organizations and advocates to transform the response to individuals who have been trafficked.

Quality

  • State and national models and best practices will inform recommendations.
  • The impact of task force recommendations should be lasting and scalable and will incorporate tenets of primary prevention when applicable.
  • Statistics will only be used when from a reputable source. The primary source of statistics will be cited in task force materials.
  • Subject matter experts, including individuals who have been trafficked, will be consulted during the development of strategies and recommendations.

Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator

The Coordinator leads the Department of Children and Families (DCF) initiatives on human trafficking as they relate to child welfare and juvenile justice. This position manages the work of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) in consultation with the co-chairs. It also supports and coordinates the work of the workgroups. The Coordinator also provides support to local, regional, and state-level stakeholder groups. There is broad interaction between the Coordinator and the courts, law enforcement, health, and educational systems.

To contact the current DCF coordinator, send an email to DCFAHT@wisconsin.gov

Anti-Human Trafficking Workgroups

The the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) and Coordinator oversee five workgroups. These groups are developing critical details of Wisconsin’s approach to stopping human trafficking.

Training

A common core of training material will be developed and disseminated for use by professionals in all systems involved with sex trafficking victims, including law enforcement, health professionals, child welfare workers, juvenile justice workers, foster parents and other out-of-home care providers, judges, legal professionals, mental health providers, service providers, and teachers.

Identification and Screening

A validated screening tool will be identified for use by child and youth serving agencies throughout the state, including child welfare agencies, juvenile justice agencies, runaway and homeless shelters, and others.

Prevention and Public Awareness

Public awareness materials will be developed and disseminated to local communities for use in local public awareness activities, thereby achieving statewide public education coverage and a shared statewide message.

Placement and Services

Non-residential, community-based services provide support to victims seeking assistance who were never involved in, or who have exited, a court-ordered system, such as the child welfare or juvenile justice system. A regional hub approach is a cost-effective way of achieving coordinated and accessible services in all parts of the state, including rural areas. Through the Placement and Services workgroup, strategies will be identified and implemented to expand non-residential community-based services within a regional hub structure.

Strategies will be identified and implemented to expand residential placement capacity by building on existing successful residential models, such as the Lad Lake model, and developing other types of safe, trauma-sensitive residential service capacity for sex trafficked victims, including emergency placement options, and a regional hub structure.

Competencies needed for service providers to serve sex trafficked minors in a trauma-informed, victim-centered, and culturally competent manner will be identified.

Data and Research

Mechanisms will be identified to collect and link data regarding sex trafficking victims across systems through modifications of existing information systems and/or development of new systems and procedures. Accurate and comprehensive data will help inform the development of policies and programs as well as measure the effectiveness of particular services and programs.