Message from Executive Director Jay Neal
In light of recent concerns around the spread of COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety, the Governor’s office has instructed all state agencies to suspend non-essential training, beginning March 12, 2020.
The Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force operates by a targeted, strategic framework which consists of individual Work Groups addressing the five elements of the trafficking continuum: Vulnerability-Recruitment-Exploitation-Withdrawal-Reintegration.
Specifically, the Task Force functions based on nine objectives:
- Community Awareness and Education;
- Youth Aware And Safe;
- Deterring Traffickers And Buyers;
- Keeping At-Risk Youth Safe;
- Apprehending, Investigating, And Prosecuting;
- Examining Underserved and/or Previously Identified Victims;
- Survivors Supported And Protected;
- Survivors Recovering And Thriving;
- Examining Domestic Adult Sex Trafficking.
The nine Work Groups, created and launched in 2015, operate under the umbrella of these defined objectives.
Each Work Group is comprised of Partner and Affiliate Level members of the Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. It is the responsibility of these Work Group members to conceptualize, develop and implement projects to address gaps in education and services relating to exploitation in Georgia with the goal of making a lasting impact on combating this issue in the state. Each Work Group project has clearly identified the target population to be addressed where a change in knowledge, behavior, attitudes, or conditions will occur as a result of the work. Projects will impact an identified risk factor of exploitation, guided by the nine goals of the Task Force developed to address one of the five key elements of the trafficking continuum (above). When all projects are being implemented, the full continuum is being impacted—resulting in “Collective Impact.” One of the clear innovations of this framework is the way it structures the work so that numerous projects will be proceeding concurrently to ensure that multiple aspects of the Human Trafficking issue are being addressed simultaneously. In this way, the Work Groups members conceptualize, develop, and implement innovative projects designed to identify a gap or limitation in existing activities, outputs, and outcomes relative to collective impact goals for which innovation is needed due to the existing system’s inability or unlikeliness to attempt said innovation. This approach allows the Task Force to address needs that either aren’t being addressed by established programs in the service system, or aren’t being addressed to the needed level of frequency, intensity, or duration.
In cases where projects successfully make a vast difference in terms of impact, such projects will be transitioned into permanent programs that become a part of the establish system, led by a Partner-Agency of the Task Force. This transition will be guided not only by the Task Force’s Management Team, but also by the Task Force’s Advisory Board, comprised of subject matter experts from across the State of Georgia. This Advisory group, currently in the preliminary stages of development, will not only guide project transitions, but will also provide input concerning progress toward reaching collective impact; assist in addressing barriers to progress; provide guidance on matters of policy and strategy; and conduct efforts to advocate at local, state, regional, and national levels for the Task Force. This Board will offer the Task Force its “statewide presence and reach” and will be instrumental in state-level efforts concerning legislation, conferences, and policy changes.
In closing, Work Groups are structured to engage Task Force Members in actions that generate specified outputs that together are capable of producing outcomes as confirmed by quantified indicators, such that the combined effects of outcomes across all projects achieve measurable progress toward collective impact. Ultimately, the strived-for end-result of the project action plan, project implementation, and project management is to achieve the anticipated community-level outcomes. These outcomes may be, but are not limited to: increased cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among multidisciplinary entities throughout the state; new and/or improved policies, protocols, processes, tools and curriculums; and increased knowledge, awareness, and skills.
Throughout the year, the Task Force transitions through 4 distinct phases: “Phase One” (January - March) includes targeted recruitment to fill identified gaps in key fields; the completion of all orientation and training sessions for all Work Group Members; the convening of the monthly Management Team meetings; the facilitation of the Phase One Quarterly Task Force meeting; the official launch of all nine Work Group projects; and the completion of all preliminary project planning sessions. "Phase Two" (April - June) includes the convening of the monthly Management Team meetings; the facilitation of the Phase Two Quarterly Task Force meeting; and monthly project planning and strategic development sessions for each of the nine Work Groups. "Phase Three" (July - September) includes the convening of the monthly Management Team meetings; the facilitation of the Phase Three Quarterly Task Force meeting; and monthly project development and implementation sessions for each of the nine Work Groups. The final phase of the year, "Phase Four" (October - December), includes the open enrollment and re-enrollment period for all Task Force members; the convening of the monthly Management Team meetings; the facilitation of the final Quarterly Task Force meeting of the year; monthly project implementation sessions for each of the nine Work Groups; and the full wrap-up of all Task Force initiatives for the year.