The Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Act addresses emergency care and supervision of a child without court order and states that a law enforcement officer or agency or The Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) are to refer any child suspected of being a victim of sexual exploitation or trafficking to an available victim assistance organization, as certified by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC).
Any victim assistance organization that accepts referrals from a law enforcement officer or agency or DFCS. pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-11-130.1 must be certified by CJCC as a certified human trafficking victim assistance organization. Certification is given to agencies who can effectively serve youth victims of human trafficking, catering to their specialized needs through residential care, case management, legal services, and mental health treatment.
All HTVAO applicants will also automatically apply to be eligible to receive Local Victim Assistance Program (LVAP) certification. For more information regarding the certifications, please refer to the program guidelines provided below under associated file(s).
To become a Certified Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (HTVAO), an organization MUST show it provides trauma-informed, comprehensive, and culturally competent services to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) victims, including residential, educational, life skills, therapeutic, and/or legal services.
Organizations provide proof by sharing supporting documentation illustrating:
► Adoption of a Trauma-Informed Culture – values, principles, and development of a trauma-informed system of care ensuring safety and preventing re-traumatization;
► Engagement in organizational self-assessment of trauma-informed care;
► Screening for trauma exposure and related symptoms for each client;
► Trauma-specific services based upon evidence-based practices or evidence-informed practices; and
► Active participation with community organizations, agencies, faith-based organizations, community collaboratives, and coalitions to support the development of a trauma-informed community that promotes healthy environments for children, adults, and their families.
Apply for Credentials to Access the Application
If your agency has never been certified, you will need to apply for credentials to begin the application process. Request log-in credentials by emailing Kyra Jones. With “HTVAO Certification” in the subject line of the email, please include the agency's contact information (name of contact, phone number, email, and agency address) and a brief overview of services available to crime victims.
If your agency was previously certified, login credentials should have been emailed to the last contact on record. If you require assistance obtaining your agency’s login credentials or updating your agency’s contact information, please contact Kyra Jones.
Please note that there is one application process for both HTVAO and LVAP. Your agency will not have to complete a separate process.
Contact Victim Services Project Coordinator
Receiving Your Credentials & Application
An email will be sent to the agency contact with the login credentials and a link to upload supporting documentation. New applicants, please allow 7 days to receive this email.
Completing the Application Process
An email will be sent to the agency contact with the login credentials and the link to upload supporting documentation. Please allow up to 20 business days for CJCC to review submitted documentation.
Those who successfully submit supporting documentation will receive the link to complete the LVAP application. Allow 7 days for CJCC to review for completion. Applicants who then successfully submit a completed application will be recommended for final approval and official certification for both HTVAO and LVAP.
Required Application Documentation and Credentials
To become HTVAO certified, organizations MUST provide the following documentation to CJCC:
a. Complete Organizational Policies and Procedures (not Employee Handbook) – must be emailed to [email protected]
b. Current Strategic Plan
c. Intake Forms/Process and Screening Tools, e.g. A.C.E.S.
d. Proof of membership in a Human Trafficking Task Force or MOUs for all counties in which the agency is applying for certification (either):
i. Current membership on statewide Human Trafficking Task Force
ii. Current, active participation on a Multi-Disciplinary Team inclusive of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) victims
e. Proof of 501c3 status (if applicable)
f. Proof of state licensure to operate residential facilities (if applicable)
g. Current IRS EIN Verification/Confirmation Letter
h. Proof of current training credentials (provide either option for ONE staff member)
i. Current licensure for mental health or social work professional
ii. Proof of a minimum of 20 hours of current victim serves training with at least 10 hours aimed to improve one’s ability to adequately serve CSEC victims
Special Note: Organizations with proof that your agency was granted certification with a current expiration date of January 1, 2025 or later (i.e. email notification or certification letter) can upload proof (email notification or current certification letter) in place of “a” through “c” in the above list.
If there is difficulty uploading large documents, they may be emailed along with the organization’s complete policies and procedures to [email protected].
The current HTVAO and LVAP certification period will become valid from the date of approval through April 27, 2026. To maintain certified status, organizations must complete LVAP annual reports in odd-numbered years and recertify on a biennial basis in even-numbered years.