Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Maine

Date:

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Child and Family Serv. Pol. Man., § IV-D-2B

The Office of Child and Family Services recognizes that human trafficking (HT) and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is happening in our State. It is recognized that no one service arena can address the multitude of needs that arise when a youth has experienced or is at a high risk of experiencing HT or CSEC. The use of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to share information across disciplines may be the only way to accurately assess for HT or CSEC. The MDT approach also is the most efficient way to plan for and address the safety needs and services that victims/survivors may need.

When a child welfare report containing allegations of HT or CSEC is made to intake, caseworkers and supervisors will work together to ensure that the report is either screened in for child welfare intervention or, if not appropriate for child welfare intervention, a referral to the appropriate district attorney's office is made within 24 hours of the report being called into intake. If the report is screened in for intervention, assessment staff will complete the HT and CSEC screening tool and follow corresponding protocol. When information is gathered that screens a youth who is already in care or who is part of a child protective assessment as a confirmed victim, a report to the appropriate county district attorney will be made immediately (if not done so already), and a referral to the nearest child advocacy center (CAC) will be made to convene an MDT to address the complexity of the situation and form next steps to attain safety and services for the victim.

If information gathered screens the youth at high risk of experiencing HT or CSEC, a referral to the nearest CAC will be made to convene an MDT to address the complexity of the situation and form next steps to attain safety and services for the victim. Information around all assessed risk factors should be shared and planned for within the MDT. If information gathered screens the youth at moderate risk of experiencing HT or CSEC, a consultation meeting should be set up by the caseworker that includes a program administrator or assistant program administrator and a supervisor to plan for safety and next steps and to strategize around the running-away behavior and other identified risk factors.

If information gathered screens the youth at risk of experiencing HT or CSEC, the caseworker will make referrals as necessary to local community-based service agencies.

Training Requirement

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 17-A, § 853-A(4)

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the person engaged in prostitution because the person was compelled to do so as described in § 852 (aggravated sex trafficking).

Services and Supports for Victims

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.