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Human Trafficking

Developing Standards of Care for Anti-Trafficking Service Providers

Survivors of human trafficking have diverse needs and may receive assistance from a wide array of organizations that have varying degrees of experience and expertise.

OVC is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) to fund the development of standards of care (SOC) for anti-trafficking service providers in order to promote uniform service standards that will ensure consistent quality of care and reduce potential harm to trafficking survivors.

As the two principal federal agencies supporting services and assistance to victims of human trafficking in the United States, OVC and OTIP have a unique role and opportunity to collaborate on the development of SOC that individuals who experience trafficking can expect to receive when seeking help from OVC and OTIP-funded programs.

In March 2022, OTIP Director Katherine Chon joined OVC Director Kristina Rose for a discussion about this joint effort. Listen to this discussion or read the transcript.

Audio file

In September 2022, under the OVC FY 2022 Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Program solicitation, Freedom Network USA was awarded a cooperative agreement to develop the SOC, working closely with OVC, OTIP, and a diverse group of stakeholders and survivors with lived experience. 

Freedom Network USA will establish a technical working group inclusive of diverse perspectives and identities, especially those of underserved communities, communities of color, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities, to begin the process.

The OVC-OTIP SOC initiative is a multi-phase project: goals, guiding principles, and relevant resources can be found in Appendix A of the OVC FY 2022 Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Program solicitation.

The cooperative agreement supports Phase 1: Project Planning and Research; and Phase 2: Drafting, Public Comment, Peer Review, and Publication. OVC and OTIP anticipate supporting future phases of this project associated with dissemination, TTA, and implementation. Throughout the initiative, Freedom Network USA will also work with an external evaluator identified by OVC and OTIP.

The SOC will address all levels of victim service responses to adult and minor survivors of sex and labor trafficking rendered by service delivery organizations funded by OVC and OTIP, and other service providers who do not receive that funding. This includes, but is not limited to: outreach and identification, screening, service delivery, referral, interactions with the public service systems, advocacy, recordkeeping and data protections, and privacy and confidentiality. 

The SOC will contemplate a comprehensive array of direct services, including case management, housing, legal, behavioral health, economic empowerment, and other services.

We intend to keep the field updated about the progress of the SOC, including opportunities for public comment, and will post updates to this page as they become available.

Subscribe to News From OVC to receive notification when the SOC are released.

Date Created: January 9, 2023