In my current position, as task force operations supervisor, we have been successful in getting in on the ground floor of potential juvenile sex trafficking cases by partnering with our local Department of Children and Families (DCF) Agency and getting immediate referrals after an investigator determines or believes that HT indicators are present. DCF utilizes a Human Trafficking Tool to determine the likelihood of trafficking and communicates findings/concerns with task force members. This process allows for the task force to intervene at a much earlier phase of the investigation and provides immediate care to potential victims.
If we modeled a program similar to the current model utilized with DCF to create a partnership with WHD it will allow investigators to complete a tool with reporting victims that will assess the individuals likelihood of being a trafficking victim. When indicators are met with positive results then WHD can make a referral to their local task force or report the findings to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. This will allow the WHD investigators to remain focused on any WHD complaints between employee/employer and also allow human trafficking investigators to partner and focus on the human trafficking portion of the investigation.
With the proper formation of partnerships with WHD and some initial awareness/indicator training, I feel it would be possible to create a process of referrals that can further our efforts to investigate labor trafficking cases successfully.