CSU’s Social Work Research Center to address human trafficking

Understanding human trafficking incidence data and analyzing referrals to culturally appropriate and trauma-responsive services are primary goals for social work researchers.

Colorado lacks a statewide, comprehensive and consistent response to the human trafficking of children and youth through a multidisciplinary team model.

To address the issue, the Colorado Department of Public Safety has been awarded the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime Fiscal Year 2021 Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking grant for the Connecting Colorado: Building Effective Anti-Trafficking Systems Project.

The Social Work Research Center in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University will serve as the evaluation team for this project, led by research associate Lauren Alessi.

This project will build upon existing promising practices, experience, and expertise of multidisciplinary teams into a statewide approach that aims to increase identification of human trafficking and connect individuals to culturally appropriate and trauma-responsive services.

The three-year evaluation will employ a rigorous mixed-method design to measure short-, intermediate-and long-term project outcomes including multidisciplinary team best practices, training, effectiveness of risk assessment tools, and capacity-building efforts.

The evaluation team will collect and analyze human trafficking incidence data to determine if there is an increased identification of labor and sex trafficking in children and youth, and an increase in referrals to culturally appropriate and trauma-responsive services as a result of the project.

About CSU’s Social Work Research Center

colorado state university social work research centerEstablished in 2004 within Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, the Social Work Research Center conducts applied research, creating university-community partnerships that bridge the gap between research and practice in social work. We work to promote evidence-based research, practice, and policy in the child welfare, health/mental health, and juvenile justice domains. We also engage in team-based science to innovate new directions in research and evaluation that are responsive, meaningful, family-engaged, and community-centered.

The School of Social Work is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.