- Cook County
- DuPage County
- Will County
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $800,000)
Heartland Human Care Services proposes to build the capacity of its Freedom from Trafficking (FFT) program, enhancing the scope of services to extend interventions beyond the emergency needs of survivors. By building multidisciplinary teams, HHCS will address the longer-term needs of survivors as they aspire to build stable and independent lives. The project’s approach will place a strategic emphasis on trauma responsive workforce development for survivors; navigating the various housing systems that often exclude or limit survivors’ choices; and trauma-focused and specific mental health interventions for the most complex of experiences.
Each case will benefit from a multidisciplinary team, which will include an Anti-Trafficking Case Manager and a Housing and Workforce Development Specialist; the most complex cases will include a Mental Health Clinical Practitioner. The primary activities will be: 1) Provide individualized services to meet the needs of victims of human trafficking by a) providing comprehensive trauma-informed and trafficking-specific case management services over the three year project period to 54 survivors of human trafficking in Cook, Will, and DuPage Counties in Illinois; b) providing trauma-responsive workforce development support and linkages, as well as advocacy and resources for housing for these survivors; and c) conducting individual and group therapy for the most complex cases of program participants; 2) Ensure survivors who have been trafficked in Cook, Will, and DuPage Counties are identified and referred for appropriate services, by partnering with agencies throughout the proposed geographic region to ensure they are equipped to identify potential victims and understand the services that can be provided through FFT and partner agencies; and 3) Demonstrate impact through data collection and evaluation activities.
HHCS’ FFT program has built a trauma-informed framework for individualized case management that centers the needs of survivors and leverages the feedback of those with lived experiences of trafficking. This OVC funding will help the organization increase its capacity to address the complex and long-term needs of survivors; develop, strengthen, and coordinate anti-trafficking resource networks to ensure trafficking survivors are identified and referred to essential services; and allow HHCS to evaluate the impact of these services to contribute to a growing body of best practices and reliable data. FFT is well-positioned to enhance services and deepen HHCS’ impact through its human rights-based service philosophy that empowers survivors to retake control of their lives, feel safe, enjoy physical and emotional health, and access the human rights to which they are entitled.