Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking

Trafficking of children and youth is a growing concern across the nation. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to combating the growing crisis of the human trafficking of youth and children, and works closely with other systems, including: Department of Justice, Department of Corrections, Department of Public Instruction, Office of State Court and local courts, Department of Health Services and community service providers, to provide a comprehensive response.

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.

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

Anti-Human Trafficking Regional Hubs

Anti-Human Trafficking Regional Hubs support county, tribal and partner agencies who serve children and youth who are at-risk or have experienced trafficking. There are currently three active hubs serving the following counties:

Region 2

Serving Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago counties and the Menominee Tribe, Oneida Nation, and Stockbridge-Munsee Community.

Lauren Hollie

Outagamie County Health and Human Services
Email: Lauren.Hollie@outagamie.org
Phone: 920-832-5184


Region 3

Serving Milwaukee County and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

Rebekah Dettmann

Milwaukee Child Advocacy Center
Email: Rdettmann@childrenswi.org
Phone: 414-292-4049


Region 4

Serving Kenosha, Walworth and Racine counties.

Esmeralda Silva

Child Advocacy Center
Email: esilva@childrenswi.org
Phone: 262-664-7403


DCF Contact Information

The Department of Children and Families Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator is 

Email: DCFAHT@wisconsin.gov