Protocol Development for Human Trafficking

To apply SOAR in your workplace, you’ll need a protocol for working with individuals who have experienced trafficking or are at risk of experiencing trafficking. Protocols are guidelines created for an organization to help guide care providers in the appropriate response to trafficking. The components of a human trafficking protocol should include staff training and supports, screening and care coordination procedures, multidisciplinary response, mandatory reporting, followup or follow-through procedures, and continuous quality improvement.



To get started:

  • Conduct an organizational audit to identify internal programs where survivors and those at risk of trafficking are likely receiving services, and build collaborations with organizations to help meet those needs.
  • Assess staff training programs, organizational policies, and procedures, including screening, intake and treatment plans, and specific program interventions.
  • Review all state and federal mandatory reporting requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Based on the organizational audit, develop an action plan that includes specific next steps to transform organizational capacity and culture.
  • Ask for input and secure buy-in from leadership and staff on the action plan to ensure effective implementation and resourcing.
  • Implement the action plan to enhance staff training, support changing organizational policies and procedures, and any other activities.
  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan, and establish a process to revisit, review, and update based on evaluation results. Consider implementing a Quality Improvement Model, such as the Plan, Do, Study, Act Model, shown here.

In order for your protocol to be successful, you need to find a champion who can work effectively with senior management. A champion is a person who supports and advocates for the creation of a trafficking protocol and has the authority to move the process forward in your agency. In developing a protocol, consider reaching out to local stakeholders or advocates to co-lead the development of a healthy and safe protocol. Whether your facility is a hospital, clinic, school, or nonprofit agency, identifying your champion and empowering them to develop a protocol is critical to helping individuals who have experienced trafficking. 

Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking has developed a variety of resources, including a toolkit, to assist in developing a response protocol.  

Check out our additional resources.

We Can Help

For individualized assistance developing a Response Protocol, complete our Training and Technical Assistance Request Form.

Check out our additional resources.

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