Dutchess County Task Force Against Human Trafficking
(Dutchess County, New York)
The mission of the taskforce is to prevent human trafficking by working collaboratively to raise knowledge and awareness in our county, to identify potential victims and to provide comprehensive trauma informed services. Give Way to Freedom is an active member of the taskforce; Courtney Albert is a member of the steering committee and co chair of the training committee.
Give Way to Freedom received the 2017 contract and associated Safe Harbour funding, by the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services, to organize and facilitate the trainings on human trafficking throughout the county. Courtney Albert, Founder & President, is co-chair of the training subcommittee along with Dr. David Crenshaw from the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie. Several trainings for law enforcement and service providers have already occurred throughout the county and will continue throughout 2017.
In addition, a multi-county conference is planned for September 13h 2-17. We are working diligently with key partners to provide this multi-county collaborative conference. The goal of this multi-county human trafficking conference is to bring together key stakeholders (law enforcement, advocates service providers, government officials) from Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties to go 'beyond 101' in learning about survivors' experiences, successes and challenges in coordinating investigations and prosecutions, and how to carry out this work in a way that is trauma-informed and survivor-centered. Since trafficking operations often cross county lines, the conference will provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with fellow stakeholders and thus broaden their resource network in the fight against trafficking.
While the conference will touch on both labor and sex trafficking, there will be a particular focus on domestic minor sex trafficking; the keynote speaker is a survivor of sex trafficking as a minor and is now an anti-trafficking activist. Through a variety of speakers and inter-disciplinary panels that will discuss specific cases, attendees will learn how to take their collaborative work to the next level.
This conference is sponsored by the Dutchess County Department of Social Services, Give Way to Freedom, Center for Safety & Change (Rockland), Children's Home of Poughkeepsie, Ulster County Safe Harbour Program, and the Pound Ridge Police Department.
- Give Way to Freedom develops and facilitates numerous trainings (from 2014 to present) on human trafficking and its impact on victims, to service providers, law enforcement and community members.
- Give Way to Freedom created a Human Trafficking 101 presentation for Dutchess County and facilitated a train the trainer training for other taskforce members.
- Give Way to Freedom collaborated with The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie to create a trauma informed youth screening tool.
- Give Way to Freedom was a key partner in the creation, distribution, and analysis of the Dutchess County 2015 Human Trafficking Service Provider Survey.