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The Commission has worked to develop and deploy best practices for those serving victims and survivors of human trafficking. We have identified and evaluated a resource developed through the U.S. Administration of Children and Families. The “Guiding Principles for Agencies Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking” is an extensive resource which encompasses the values adopted by the Commission. We encourage agencies serving victims and survivors of human trafficking to implement these best practices.
This committee is charged with reviewing the needs of human trafficking survivors to determine how those needs can be met at the local and state levels.
2021 Committee Reports
The Victim Services Committee continued work this year on developing and deploying a Listening Tour to learn directly from survivors of human trafficking how best to serve them. The Listening Tour will allow members of the Commission a chance to hear, confidentially, from victims and survivors of labor and sex trafficking. The goal of the tour is to invite a diverse group of victim and survivor voices to fully inform the Committee’s conversation on what services are available, what services are needed and how the delivery of those services can be improved.
The Committee received assistance from the Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC), at the University of Michigan, a community-university partnership that focuses on supporting nonprofits, schools, and governmental organization to build capacity while meeting the educational goals of students. CTAC assisted in the development of some of the support resources needed to conduct the Listening Tour and they will also help to compile a report based on the feedback obtained in the pilot. Although the report will protect participant’s confidentiality, it will provide a useful summary and compilation of responses received.
The Committee convened its first Listening Tour pilot group in late December. As an initial step, the Committee will incorporate the input from the pilot to shape and improve the next two pilot sessions slated for early 2022. The Committee looks to complete the pilot phase by mid-year with a view toward implementing the full Listening Tour to be completed in late in 2022 or early 2023. The Committee looks to conduct ongoing listening sessions on periodic basis in coming years.
Continuing the 2020 theme of developing and deploying best practices, the Committee identified and evaluated an existing resource developed through the Administration of Children and Families. The “Guiding Principles for Agencies Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking” is an extensive resource which encompasses the values adopted by the Training and Education and Public Awareness subcommittees. However, the “Guiding Principles” includes and extensive framework for accessing an organizations compliance with the principles as well as strategies for adopting and deploying the principles. The Committee considered adopting the Guiding Principles in its entirety. However, after consultation with stakeholders, the Committee determined stakeholder evaluation and input would ensure successful adoption and deployment in Michigan. To that end, the Committee convened a workgroup of state-wide victim service providers and stakeholders to come together on a continuing basis to support implementation of the Guiding Principles.
The workgroup met on a monthly basis throughout the second half of the year. The workgroup is currently consulting with the authors of the original document for guidance on implementation with the goal or recommending the adoption of their work product in 2022. Once adopted and published, the Committee anticipates the Commission will work with service providers and others to implement the best practices and work toward crafting a framework for assessment.