The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) developed this resource center to provide new and experienced judicial officers and courts with the tools they need to enhance their ability to address these challenging cases. This toolkit is organized by topic and includes Understanding the Scope of the Problem, Interpreting the Legal Landscape, Implementing Promising Practices, and Leveraging Judicial Leadership. The Resource Center was developed with the support of the NoVo Foundation, Rights4Girls, National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) Awaken, National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA), and consultants Honorable John Romero (Ret.) and Toni McKinley, MA, LPC.
Child Sex Trafficking On-Ramps and Off-Ramps Infographic
The Role of the Court in Empowering Youth Survivors of Sex Trafficking Series Events
Definition of Human Trafficking
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations define human trafficking as:
- Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
- The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. (22 U.S.C. § 7102(9)).
Child Sex Trafficking On-Ramps and Off-Ramps Fact Sheet
This infographic and fact sheet were developed in conversation with youth survivors and 39 stakeholders who provide training and/or technical assistance on child sexual exploitation, and youth interventions across the country. These resources are intended to help courts and community stakeholders understand the common on-ramps into the life of trafficking and the most significant off-ramps for children who are being trafficked.
How to Facilitate a Discussion about Child Sexual Exploitation in Your Community: A Facilitation Guide
The purpose of this Facilitation Guide is to provide judges with guidance on how to convene a group of court and community stakeholders to address child sex trafficking on a local level. The guide is intended to help courts and community stakeholders understand and discuss what puts minors at risk for sexual exploitation, also known as on-ramps into the life of trafficking.
What Should Judicial Officers Know About Domestic Child Sex Trafficking?
An NCJFCJ factsheet. Judicial Officers are likely to come in contact with children who are being sex trafficked. Learn more about the statistics of encountering a youth who is being sex trafficked in this report.
Who is Susceptible to Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and What Are Some Red Flags?
An NCJFCJ factsheet on the common myths and misconceptions of trafficked youth.
What We Know About How Child Sex Trafficking Happens
Developed by Polaris. A quick guide to understanding the methods through which traffickers manipulate children. By understanding the methods employed by traffickers it is easier to recognize trafficking situations.
Familial Sex Trafficking of Minors: Trafficking Conditions, Clinical Presentation, and System Involvement
This journal article by Dr. Ginny Sprang and Dr. Jennifer Cole describes the conditions through which children are trafficked by family members as well as the impact of family trafficking on child wellbeing. This study can help communities identify and provide effective responses for children who are trafficked for sex by family members.
Familial Trafficking Warning Signs
Shared Hope International. Factsheet on warning signs of familial trafficking.
The Juvenile Justice System and Domestic Child Sex Trafficking
Rights4Girls – Defining domestic child sex trafficking and the charges youth who are being trafficked are arrested for.
Child Welfare and Domestic Child Sex Trafficking
Rights4Girls – A brief statistical breakdown of why young people in the child welfare system are more likely to be trafficked for sex.
At-Risk for Sex Trafficking: You who Run Away From Foster Care
Developed by the Capacity Building Center for States. Examines what states and counties can learn from data in their child welfare case management systems and reported in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) about youth who run away from State custody, how data can be used to learn more about this high-risk population, and how this knowledge can inform interventions.
Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and Black Girls
Rights4Girls – A disproportionate number of Black girls are being trafficked for sex. Learn some of the systemic factors that put Black girls in greater danger of sex trafficking.
Racial & Gender Disparities in the Sex Trade
Rights4Girls – There are race and gender disparities in who is being trafficked for sex and who is buying sex. Learn more about the statistics in this report.
Online Child Sexual Exploitation: Prevalence, Process, and Offender Characteristics
Journal article by Dr. Juliane Kloess, Dr. Anthony Beech, and Dr. Leigh Harkins describing the process of online sexual exploitation of children. This article also describes the characteristics of groomers and other internet perpetrators.
Neuropsychology of Trafficking Trauma
NCJFCJ and Toni McKinley, MA, LPC present this 90-minute webinar and Q&A session. Youth who have experienced trafficking have endured intense and prolonged traumatization. This trauma fundamentally rewrites the central nervous system of people who have survived trafficking. In this webinar, we discuss the neuropsychology of the trauma response to trafficking. Court staff who watch this video will walk away able to describe children’s biological response to sex trafficking and explain how using a trauma-informed lens will help youth who have survived trafficking.
Reducing Demand for Child Sex Trafficking
Who buys sex from children, and why? Tens of thousands of children are sexually exploited every year in the United States. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there were 21.4 million electronic reports of suspected child sexual exploitation in 2020, nearly double 2019 reports. The market for child sex trafficking is driven by demand for the sexual exploitation of children by people in our communities. Through this 90-minute webinar and Q&A session you will learn:
- Who buys sex from children.
- The harms caused by sex buyers.
- Strategies to reduce demand for child sex trafficking in your area.
Addressing Guilt, Shame, and Stigma for Survivors in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
Guilt, shame, and stigma are the results of trauma and exploitation. Young people who have survived child sex trafficking will present in court carrying the weight of the guilt, shame, and stigma associated with their sexual exploitation. Guilt, shame, and stigma are harmful, may be easily triggered, and present in a number of ways.
In this webinar the Honorable Barbara Mack (Ret.), Board Director, NCJFJ, and Leslie Briner, MSW discuss guilt, shame, and stigma:
- How they present in behaviors and actions,
- Prevention in the courtroom, social service settings, or elsewhere, and
- Trauma-Informed Responses
Shining Light on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Toolkit to Build Understanding
Developed in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, Youth Collaboratory, and Wichita State University Center for Combating Human Trafficking, this toolkit is a resource for multidisciplinary professionals, policymakers, volunteers, faith communities, and others involved in anti-trafficking work. It provides information on a variety of topics related to human trafficking with a specific focus on mentoring for commercial sexual exploitation victims.
Legal Rights of Immigrant Children who are Survivors of Sex Trafficking
An overview of the legal rights and protections of immigrant children who are victims of commercial sex trafficking. The first session provides participants with resources and tools to assist judges in providing assistance to immigrant children who are victims of human trafficking to be able to qualify for immigration relief. The second session guides judges on how to direct parties and child welfare to take the steps needed to ensure that child sex trafficking victims receive all of the forms of help and assistance including state and federal public benefits that they are legally eligible to receive.
Legal Protections for Immigrant Children Who Are Victims of Human Trafficking
Faculty: Honorable Susan Breall and Leslye Orloff, JD
Legal Rights of Immigrant Child Commercial Sex Trafficking Survivors: Public Benefits, Housing, & Victim Services
Faculty: Honorable Ramona Gonzalez and Leslye Orloff, JD
Additional Resources – Legal Rights & Protections of Immigrant Children
What Should Judges Know About Federal, Tribal, and State Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Legislation?
An overview of Federal, Tribal, and State laws pertinent to judges presiding over domestic child sex trafficking cases.
Report Cards on Child & Youth Sex Trafficking: Enhanced Legal Framework
Shared Hope’s enhanced legal framework for state laws to protect children of sex trafficking, can be found here. This legal framework is the basis of their state report cards found here. The state report cards include an overall grade for the state’s laws as well as a law analysis. To access a specific state’s report card and law analysis, click on the state within the map.
What Everyone Ought to Know About Starting a Child Sex Trafficking Youth Advisory Board
Any work that strives to serve and advocate for survivors of child sex trafficking should always provide a seat at the table for survivors, particularly youth survivors. One way to incorporate youth voice is by starting a Youth Advisory Board (YAB). A YAB provides youth and organizations the chance to work with one another in a safe and structured manner. This publication, written in coordination with the NCJFCJ YAB, provides tip and guidelines to help start and sustain a YAB for survivors of child sex trafficking.
Understanding and Communicating with Youth Survivors of Sex Trafficking
Developed by NCJFCJ with Honorable John Romero (Ret.) and Toni McKinley, MA, LPC. A series of short videos on how to use compassionate listening to build a sense of safety in the courtroom for young people who survived sex trafficking.
Understanding Youth Behavior
Engaging Youth Choice and Voice
Q&A Understanding and Communicating with Youth Survivors of Sex Trafficking
Information Memorandum on Responding to Human Trafficking Among children and Youth in Foster Care and Missing from Foster Care
Resources and legal requirements intended to protect children and youth in the child welfare system from human trafficking. The Information Memorandum includes and over of federal statues and highlights the resources and guidance to meet those requirements.
Creating a Human Trafficking Strategic Plan to Protect and Heal Native Children and Youth
NCJFCJ in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Children, in particular, children in Indian Country are especially vulnerable to human trafficking. This worksheet provides guidance for tribal courts in developing a strategic plan.
Preliminary Recommendations to Strengthen the Nation’s Response to the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States
The National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States recommendations for training, policy and procedures, implementation, data and evaluation, and funding and sustainability across 11 categories. This serves as a blueprint for how communities and states can develop a collaborative systemic response to child sex trafficking.
Human Trafficking and Child Welfare: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies
Guidance for child welfare agency leadership on supporting children who have been trafficked for sex or are at risk of being trafficked for sex. This resources also includes information on the legal requirements child welfare agencies must uphold regarding children who are or are at risk of becoming trafficking victims.
Memorandum Summarizing the Available Screening Tools to Identify Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC)
Developed by the West Coast Children’s Clinic. A matrix and memorandum describing all the tools that are available to identify commercially sexually exploited children.
Study Revealed Safe Harbor Laws Increased Protections for Sex-Trafficked Youth, Identified Needs for Agency Support and Judicial Training
A study of the implementation of Safe Harbor laws found that the laws increase the number of youths being screed for sex trafficking and being referred to services. The study also revealed that judges and state agency personnel need more training on how to manage and respond to youth victims of sex trafficking and need to collaborate more across agencies.
Capacity Building Webinars for Human Trafficking Service Providers
Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Resources Center. A series of recorded webinars and best practices in addressing the needs of human trafficking survivors. It Includes webinars on how to use assessment tools.
Resolution Regarding Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitations of Children
A resolution adopted by the NCJFCJ Board of Directors in February 2013 and revised and adopted in March 2016 committing to a future where children who are the victims of sex trafficking are identified as victims and provided appropriate trauma-informed services.
The National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (NJIDCST)
Training for judges that address the serious issue of child sex trafficking in the United States. Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, and Delinquency Prevention and Rights4Girls. This institute provides judges with a highly interactive educational opportunity to expand their knowledge of trafficking risk factors, victim identification, effective intervention strategies, cultural considerations, and much more.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network NCTSN Bench Cards for the Trauma-Informed Judge
Developed in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These bench cards aid judicial officers in asking trauma-informed questions, developing a clearer picture of childhood trauma in order to assess needs, and considering trauma as decisions are made regarding a child’s home placement.
Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response
Developed in collaboration with the NCJFCJ, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The focus of this publication is on judicial action that ensures a coordinated response.
Voices from the Bench: Judicial Perspectives on Handling Child Sex Trafficking Cases
the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This publication focuses on judicial leadership efforts all over the country that have shifted how the court responds to DCST.
- National Center for Juvenile Justice
Family Violence and Domestic Relations
- Children Exposed to Violence
- Civil Protection Orders
- Judicial Education Development Initiative on Domestic Violence: From Concepts to Improved Court Responses
- Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment
- Elder Abuse
- Courts in the Era of #WeToo
- Firearms and Domestic Violence
- Animal Cruelty and Family and Interpersonal Violence
- Child Custody and Supervised Visitation
- Teen Dating Violence
Child Welfare and Juvenile Law
- Domestic Child Sex Trafficking
- Foster Care and Adoption
- Juvenile Justice Reform
- Crossover Prevention Case Planning for Child Welfare Workers
- Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Courts
- Animal Cruelty and Family & Interpersonal Violence
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Mental Health
- Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court
- Military-Connected Families
- Trauma-informed Courts
- Substance Use and the Courts
- Reasonable Efforts - 2nd Edition
- Judicial Wellness-Connection-Leadership Initiative
- NCJFCJ Bench Card Resource Center
- Resolutions and Policy Statements
- Get Involved
- Upcoming Events
- About the NCJFCJ