Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,152,215)
Colorado lacks a statewide, comprehensive and consistent response to the human trafficking of children and youth (HTCY) through a multidisciplinary team (MDT) model. This project will build upon existing promising practices, experience and expertise of MDTs into a statewide approach that aims to increase identification of HTCY and connect them to culturally appropriate and trauma-responsive services. This project has three phases: development, implementation with current MDTs, and implementation with new MDTs.
Phase I involves the formation of a MDT Working Group (MDT-WG), which will have members from existing MDTs and relevant subject matter experts. The MDT-WG will work with the Colorado State University-Evaluation Team (CSU-ET) to conduct a systematic inventory of strengths, gaps and promising practices of MDTs to inform the creation of a MDT Toolkit. This toolkit will contain template policies, procedures and protocols that outline a consistent multidisciplinary approach and ensures that all children/youth who experienced trafficking receive appropriate, coordinated and well-planned responses. The toolkit development will be informed by Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) to ensure labor trafficking of minors and responding to unaccompanied minors are incorporated into the approach. A Survivor Leaders Advisory Board will be established to inform this effort. Training curricula will be developed to accompany the toolkit to ensure its proper use. During Phase I, the CSU-ET will implement a reliability and validity analysis of the state’s High Risk Victim Identification Tool.
Phase II will include the implementation of this statewide approach with MDTs, which will begin with a summit to introduce the toolkit through a training program. While the MDTs integrate the guidance of the toolkit in their communities, Project Staff and Partners will provide training and technical assistance (TTA) to the MDTs. The CSU-ET will evaluate this phase and findings will be integrated into a final version of the toolkit. During this phase, Project Staff will cultivate stakeholders around the state to encourage the formation of MDTs in new geographic areas.
In phase III Project Staff will select up to two communities to receive support in establishing a child/youth focused MDT. These new MDTs will receive TTA on the adaptation of the toolkit from Project Staff, RMIAN and will have access to a member of the Survivor Leaders Advisory Board for individual consultation. The MDT-WG will continue to function under the CHTC for ongoing collaboration with all MDTs regarding specific issues that arise when addressing HTCY at the community level.