Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

The first-ever state-level Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) operated from January 2015 through December 2017. The Task Force was followed by a broad-based Advisory Council chaired by the DCF Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator which has been in place since January 2017 and is continuing cross-system efforts to combat trafficking. 

Additional information about the Task Force's members, mission and meetings can be found below. 


Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Response Plan

The federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act was passed in 2014. It requires states to develop policies and procedures to address the issue of sex trafficking of minors.

In response, DCF requested input from cross-system stakeholders to gather feedback on a state plan. This led to a three-part plan to address sex trafficking in Wisconsin.

Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) was a state-level task force co-chaired by the Secretary of Department of Children and Families and the Attorney General of Wisconsin. Its members included:

  • Representatives of other Wisconsin departments
  • Judges
  • Attorneys
  • Law enforcement
  • Tribes
  • Counties
  • Service providers
  • Faith-based communities
  • Survivors
  • Health care professionals

The Task Force operated with a set of Guiding Principles.


  • 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.


  • Task force materials were developed to be easily modified to be functional across different disciplines, agencies and systems.

  • Task force recommendations and educational materials are shared widely and respect, and connect to, existing local and regional efforts.

  • Training and public awareness materials are trauma-informed with a consistent core message that can be modified and enhanced for culturally appropriate delivery to different audiences.

  • The task force facilitated unprecedented collaboration among state agencies, private and public organizations and advocates to transform the response to individuals who have been trafficked.


  • State and national models and best practices inform recommendations.

  • The impact of task force recommendations is lasting and scalable and will incorporate tenets of primary prevention when applicable.

  • Statistics were only be used when from a reputable source. The primary source of statistics is cited in task force materials.

  • Subject matter experts, including individuals who have been trafficked, were 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 youth justice. This position lead the work of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (AHTTF) in consultation with the DCF and Department of Justice (DOJ) co-chairs. The Coordinator also coordinated and managed the workgroups and provides support to local, regional, and state-level stakeholder groups. There is broad interaction between the Coordinator and the:

  • Courts
  • Law enforcement
  • Health
  • Educational systems
  • Other state agencies

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

Anti-Human Trafficking Workgroups

Several workgroups, under the direction of the Task Force and Coordinator, developed critical details of Wisconsin’s approach to addressing sex trafficking of youth.


Data and Research

Mechanisms were 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 helped inform the development of policies and programs as well as measure the effectiveness of particular services and programs.


Identification and Screening

A validated screening tool was 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.


Implementation Advisory

Expert cross-system feedback was given on state-created protocols that guide the implementation of anti-human trafficking programs and policies. Members also advised on the implementation of previous workgroup recommendations for training, identification, and prevention efforts.


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 were identified and will be implemented to expand non-residential community-based services within a regional hub structure.

Strategies were identified and will be 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 were identified.


Prevention and Public Awareness

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



A common core of training material was developed and continues to be 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.


Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Meeting Materials

The Task Force has completed its charge.  The last meeting was December 14, 2017.