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For immediate release: October 6, 2016
Contact: Craig Smith
Phone: 518-402-3130

NYS OCFS Releases New Documents Guiding Child-Serving Professionals and Communities in Responding to Human Trafficking

Publications Share Collective Experience and Best Practices of County, State and Voluntary Agencies in Building a Seamless Network for Human Trafficking Survivors

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) announces the release of two new publications designed to improve the response to human trafficking of children across the service delivery system.

Responding to Commercially Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Youth: A Blueprint for Systems of Care in New York State provides formal guidance to child welfare systems, voluntary agencies, legal and victim advocates, law enforcement and the courts system and other organizations that work with trafficked, exploited and at-risk youth. The document provides a playbook to help communities develop systems to recognize, respond to and prevent trafficking of youth.

Responding to Commercially Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Youth: A Handbook for Child Serving Professionals is a partner publication containing practical guidance for professionals who work directly with trafficked, exploited and at-risk youth. It provides information on how to talk to survivors, what terms and language to use and how to provide the best supports for helping the youth through the healing process.

“These groundbreaking publications will set a new standard in addressing human trafficking and will fill an informational void in the treatment of children who have survived trafficking and sexual exploitation,” said acting OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “These documents continue the work we have done through the Safe Harbour Project to combat the trafficking and exploitation of children in New York State.”

“Many of the populations OCFS serves are particularly at risk of trafficking,” said OCFS Deputy Commissioner Laura Velez. “Children with histories of physical, sexual or emotional abuse; young people with substance abuse or mental health issues; youth in the foster care or juvenile justice systems; runaways and homeless youth; and lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth are especially vulnerable.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has ranked New York State among the top four states where human trafficking occurs. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established a state Interagency Task Force to help New Yorkers recognize and report this modern-day slavery and to train law enforcement and social services workers to identify it.

If you suspect an individual is being victimized, report it to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or by texting 233733. If you suspect criminal activity, notify law enforcement. Copies of the Handbook and the Blueprint are available on the OCFS website at .

About OCFS

OCFS serves New York by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities. OCFS maintains an active social media presence. “Like” the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Facebook page and follow @NYSOCFS on Twitter in English or the Spanish-language Twitter account, @NYSOCFS en Espanol.