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Identifying the Feasibility and Acceptability of Conducting Longitudinal Outcome Evaluation Research with Adult Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Their Perceptions of a Comprehensive Service Model

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)

The purpose of this project—a collaboration among survivors, practitioners, and researchers—is to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of conducting rigorous outcome evaluations with survivors of sex trafficking (Aim 1); document factors associated with sex trafficking survivors’ service utilization (Aim 2); and identify the ways in which engagement with various services relates to sex trafficking survivors’ recovery outcomes (Aim 3). Data will be collected from clients at Call to Freedom (CTF), a nonprofit organization in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that provides comprehensive, ongoing, and coordinated trauma-informed services to trafficking survivors. More specifically, CTF offers services such as case management, emergency addiction services coordination, employment services, housing support (including the operation of housing units specifically for CTF clients), and occupational therapy. CTF also partners with numerous community-based providers to help survivors access services such as mental health care, medical and dental services, and legal services. To address Aim 1, the researchers will invite sex trafficking survivors (N = 20) to participate in the research project within a few days of arriving to CTF. The researchers will document enrollment rates, assess acceptability of research procedures, and collect of contact information for follow-up data collection (all requirements of conducting longitudinal experimental research). Participants will be contacted 6 months later to participate in a follow-up survey. Follow-up survey data will provide retention rate information and participants’ ongoing perceptions of the acceptability and safety of the research procedures. To address Aims 2 and 3, survivors (N = 135) with varying levels of CTF services engagement and time involved with CTF will each participate in a qualitative interview. Interviews will capture their reasons for engaging with specific types of services, perceptions of how CTF services facilitated their recovery, and perceptions of how services could be improved. The application addresses the poverty, rural, and QOZ priorities, and 48% of survivors served by CTF are Alaska Native/American Indian. A final report will be submitted, data will be archived, and findings will be shared with diverse audiences via a number of outlets. The practitioner-based products (e.g., toolkit) created as part of this project will aid in rapid dissemination of best practices for supporting diverse survivors of sex trafficking. Finally, the study will identify best practices for conducting rigorous outcome evaluations of services for sex trafficking survivors. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 30, 2021