The Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking will receive a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will help provide services and comprehensive case management for victims of severe forms of human trafficking in Maricopa and Pima counties.
“This is a serious issue that is growing,” said Cynthia Schuler, CEO of Tumbleweed, a non-profit that serves homeless and at-risk youth in the Phoenix area. “We have a lot of work and research ahead of us, but this grant is a tremendous boost and provides us the funds to move forward in combating domestic human trafficking in Arizona.”
Tumbleweed is one of five organizations that make up the partnership and is the lead agency. The Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking includes TRUST, Arizona Legal Women And Youth Services (ALWAYS), Phoenix Dream Center and Our Family Services. The Arizona State University School of Social Work’s Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research will provide research and evaluate the effectiveness of the effort.
The new funding will help the Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking in several ways:
• Assess needs and develop community-driven action plans to strengthen services in Maricopa and Pima counties
• Identify and provide case management and comprehensive victim assistance
• Coordinate needed medical and mental health care
• Collaborate with ongoing efforts in international trafficking, law enforcement, domestic violence and sexual assault, runaway and homeless youth
• Integrate child welfare services and juvenile justice systems
• Evaluate project performance and inform local and national strategies on how to improve the availability of service, integration, and collaboration for trafficking victims.
“With this grant, the Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking can start to effectively evaluate the landscape in Arizona and, more importantly, service and help the victims of human trafficking in our state,” Schuler said.
Only three U.S. social service agencies were awarded grants in 2014 through the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the U.S. Administration of Children and Families, including Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families (New York) and the Asian Association of Utah (Salt Lake City). Of the three grant recipients, Tumbleweed and the Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking are the largest beneficiaries. Funding is expected to be fully received by the end of 2014.