Ohio Awarded Funding to Improve Outcomes for Youth Victims of Sex and Labor Trafficking

Three Ohio partner agencies are set to receive funding for efforts.

The Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) was recently awarded a total of $949,968 by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to combat human trafficking.

The Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking grant is a three-year project that addresses three over-arching objectives:

  1. Develop, enhance and coordinate programs and activities geared toward improving outcomes for child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking;
  2. Develop and implement a jurisdiction-wide strategy to address the state’s greatest challenges in responding to child and youth trafficking; and
  3. Enhance or develop policies, procedures or protocols to ensure that child and youth victims of human trafficking are not penalized for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, particularly those related to prostitution.

In a press release officials note, through strategic trainings and technical assistance, Ohio’s specific goals are to increase the expertise of child welfare agencies to identify and refer potential victims for services, reduce barriers to services for trafficked youth by promoting and implementing screening protocols for identifying and referring victims,  implement screening processes for identifying potential minor victims of trafficking within county juvenile courts, and increase implementation of the Safe Harbor legal statute for minor victims of human trafficking.

OCJS serves as the program director and fiscal monitoring agent for the grant and will provide sub-awards to three partner agencies: the Ohio Department of Youth Services; the Public Children Services Association of Ohio; and the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers.

A large part of OCJS’ first year of implementation of the grant is strategy building and developing the accompanying performance measures. All trainings, meetings and project activities will be internally tracked to ensure they are on track with OCJS’ Time-Task Plan.

The federal award amount of $949,968 will fund a three-year project period from October 2017 to September 2020.

To learn more about the state’s anti-trafficking efforts, please visit http://humantrafficking.ohio.gov/

Michaela Madison Reporting

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