Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $448,421)
This observational study will validate and disseminate a screening tool with the potential to improve victim identification, victim services, and law enforcement on a nation-wide scale. The study will answer three research questions: Can the tool successfully identify victims of human trafficking and associated risk factors? Does it work well in practice for front-line service providers? If so, what is the best way to disseminate the tool? To answer these questions, this study has three overlapping parts that use quantitative and qualitative methods: tool validation, process evaluation, and knowledge translation. First, the Vera research team will lead data collection by using the screening tool, and by training and supervising community-based researchers, who will administer it to a survey sample of more than 200 adult and child clients of agencies working with diverse populations. Second, Vera researchers will conduct participatory process evaluation using focus groups (n=6) with participating service providers. Finally, integrated knowledge translation, defined as dissemination planning with stakeholders throughout research, will ensure that the screening tool and user guide are disseminated to service providers and allied sectors effectively.