Social Service providers are on the front line of identifying and addressing issues of victimization and vulnerability. They have led the way and confront broken lives every day.
“One thing that distinguishes the Not Here model from other service models is the critical need for coordination between law enforcement and social service providers. While most recipients of social services have some ongoing or historic connection to a private or governmental service provider, trafficking victims have been removed from the society-at-large and kept under the complete control of the trafficker. Whether it’s an arrest for prostitution or a law enforcement raid of a site of trafficked labor, law enforcement is most often the initial point of contact with broader systems for victims.
The social service and law enforcement roles in this partnership are complementary. Service providers can help law enforcement personnel understand the dynamics of human trafficking. They can also assist law enforcement personnel in becoming more effective at identifying trafficked individuals in order that they be directed into the social service rather than criminal justice system. When law enforcement personnel identify and refer trafficking victims, it is critical that social service providers have available a range of service options in order that these individuals needs are met in a timely fashion. There can be little worse than a trafficked individual being identified by a law enforcement officer, told that there is help to be gotten and then having to be either released to the trafficker or introduced into the criminal justice system for a lack of services. It is only with this collaboration operating effectively that the Not Here model can truly meet the needs of trafficking victims.”
~ Reid Scher LCSW