Standards of Care



The Standards of Care will provide practical guidance on delivering services that are person-centered, trauma-informed, culturally responsive, evidence-informed, and reduce harm. These service standards are needed to ensure consistent quality of services and reduce unintended harm to trafficking survivors. FNUSA will develop these standards with the guidance of a diverse technical working group of subject matter experts. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) will publish the Standards as a nationally available resource jointly.

Project Updates

To ensure an evidence-based foundation for the National HT Services Standards of Care, FNUSA partnered with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), an independent non-profit research institute, to develop foundational documents based on literature in the field. These documents will help guide the drafting of the Standards of Care to ensure they are empirically driven. 

The Technical Working Group convened in October 2023 to review the documents and launch their work on the Standards of Care project. During the meeting, members reviewed and discussed the initial themes pulled from RTI’s literature review and worked to revise and narrow these down in a collaborative process. As we enter 2024 and the project’s second year, FNUSA will begin to draft the Standards of Care document officially with the guidance of our Technical Working Group.


Engage with the Project

As the Standards of Care continue to develop, FNUSA invites stakeholders to provide feedback on updates as they are shared publicly. Most recently, the Technical Working Group has determined the 7 themes that will guide the Standards of Care. Please read more below about the 7 themes and what would be included within each. If you have feedback on these themes, input may be provided by filling out the form below by February 10, 2024.

Provide Input

Below is a list of the 7 final themes, along with a few examples of topics that could be included within each theme. You may notice that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) will be incorporated throughout all 7 themes, in addition to encompassing its own theme. These themes are based on the literature review conducted by RTI. The report can be accessed below.

  1. Accommodations for individuals who are disabled or neurodiverse
  2. Informed consent
  3. Low-barrier services and participation
  4. DEIB

  1. Linguistically appropriate services
  2. Variation in religion and relational dynamics
  3. Positionality
  4. DEIB

  1. Professional Conduct and Standards for Staff, Interns, and Volunteers
  2. Self-care and Community Care for Vicarious Trauma
  3. Privacy and Confidentiality
  4. Mission, Values, and Goals
  5. Program Evaluation
  6. Continuous Training and Improvement
  7. DEIB

  1. Collaborative relationships with social service agencies, law enforcement, and community organizations
  2. Centering survivor agency
  3. Awareness and prevention efforts
  4. DEIB

  1. Anti-racist approaches
  2. Social and cultural context
  3. Systematic causes of vulnerability

  1. Survivor-Informed/Survivor-Led
  2. Interactions with Survivors
  3. Open and Affirming
  4. Peer support
  5. DEIB

  1. Trauma Informed Care
  2. Safety and Safety Planning
  3. Survivor Self-Determination
  4. DEIB

Technical Working Group

FNUSA has convened a Technical Working Group of  25 subject matter experts. This group is intended to be a collective body that strives to represent the diverse and dynamic components of the human trafficking landscape in the U.S. and includes individuals with lived experience, researchers, direct social service and legal service providers, and OVC and OTIP grant recipients. You can view the complete list of founding members of the Technical Working Group below. 

  • Amy Fleischauer
  • Angela Alvarado
  • Bethany Gilot
  • Chris Ash 
  • Erika Gonzalez
  • Erin Williamson
  • Ileana Taylor
  • Jatnna Gomez
  • Jess Torres
  • Jody Haskin
  • Jose Alfaro
  • Joy Thompson
  • Maja Hasic
  • Mariah Grant


This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under grant 15POVC-22-GK-03286-HT, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.