FEE’s Runaway/Missing Child Task Force To Help Stop Human Trafficking
Within the past half year or so, we have developed a Runaway/Missing Child Task Force in partnership with United Way.
The purpose of the Runaway/Missing Child Task Force is to create a more coordinated and supportive response to the risks that follow youth who run away from home or care, institute protocols within systems that involve youth (i.e. education) that will better serve teens and youth who either are at risk of running away or who have been actively running away, and assist with local cases in determining solutions to support both runaway youth, their families, and any aftercare services needed.
We firmly believe that runaway prevention is human trafficking prevention. Our goal is to address the risks and vulnerabilities that affect our local teen community members that lead to runaway/missing episodes, unhealthy relationships, dating, sexual exploitation and violence, homelessness, and human trafficking. Using best practices and updated research, strategies will be put into place focusing on reduction and intervention in Racine County.
We are accomplishing these goals using the following objectives:
- Awareness. Awareness of the issues and complications surrounding runaway youth, how it intersects with human trafficking, and what solutions are available to address it.
- Transportation Focus. Bus and train stations are recruitment sites, as runaway youth and homeless individuals may frequent these transit hubs. Additionally, survivors are coming into the most significant contact with transit systems during attempts to leave, only to be faced with a lack of access to safe and affordable transportation.
- Community Events. Community events are where we are able to spread awareness and resources to various community members who may be impacted by these issues.
- Resources. Resources for teens and youth will be available in various public spaces. By providing them with resources, those who are in need will be able to access the care that will protect them from potential exploitation.
- Training and partnerships. We continue to train various professionals and community members on topics related to human trafficking while creating partnerships with organizations (i.e. LGBTQ+ centers) to create a more coordinated response to assist youth and families.