Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $949,850)
Mountain-Plains Youth Services Coalition (d.b.a. Youthworks) will enhance services to youth victims of trafficking (ages 11-24) in North Dakota. Annually, the project will serve 100 youth victims of human trafficking, with an emphasis on increasing identification of labor trafficking and male victims. Youthworks is a leading provider of anti-trafficking services, including advocacy, case management, therapy, survivor leadership, and other survivor-centered services throughout North Dakota, and has extensive experience serving runaway, homeless, trafficked and street youth (RHTSY). The proposed project would enhance services for systems-involved and under identified youth victims through a Youth Navigation model, increase agency capacity to provide in-house HT therapy, and ensure continued funding for the provision of comprehensive services through Human Trafficking Youth Specialists and Survivor Leadership work. Project activities include comprehensive services for suspected or confirmed victims of trafficking; systems-responsive and youth-centered multi-disciplinary response teams; outreach and training by the Youth Navigators; the development of curriculum on identifying and serving all trafficked youth, with a special emphasis on labor trafficking and male trafficking victims; and expanded therapeutic services to trafficked youth across the state. Expected outcomes include well-coordinated, state-wide responses to youth victims of trafficking, an increase in male and labor trafficked youth identified, and more individuals and families receiving therapy. Youth of any genders, ages 11 to 24, who are or have experienced any form of trafficking are the intended beneficiaries of the project.