Significant outcome evaluations will kick-off for Love146’s Prevention Education and Survivor Care programs, conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, and funded by the CDC and Department of Justice.
Love146 will be one of the first anti-trafficking organizations in the US to undergo rigorous outcome evaluations that are independently conducted by a third party, and that are outcomes-based using a control group. We’ve been working towards this for years – and it’s a huge step forward not just for Love146, but for the entire anti-trafficking field.
“We need to hold ourselves accountable and ensure that we are having the impact we intend to. We want to do work that works,” said Aria Flood, Love146 Director of US Prevention. “Rigorous evaluation will allow us to assess our impact, make improvements in our programming, and inform future anti-trafficking efforts.”
Sometimes well-intentioned service providers and programs aren’t having the impact they think they are. In the worst case scenarios, these providers and programs can even unintentionally do harm. Good intentions are not enough. That’s why we need to ensure that what we’re doing really works. These evaluations won’t only tell us how effective our prevention and survivor care programs are working — they will give us concrete actionables for how we can make improvements to make our programs even stronger for children and communities.
WHY DOES IT MATTER FOR CHILDREN?
Love looks like honoring the trust placed in you. In all of our programs, we meet strong, brave children who choose to trust us. Whether it’s for 5 sessions of prevention education or years of holistic survivor care, kids open up to us and share really difficult things because they believe we can help them. We owe it to them, and their families, to be worthy of this trust, and we do it by making sure we are providing services that are proven to help.
WHY DOES IT MATTER FOR THE ANTI-TRAFFICKING FIELD?
Trafficking was defined as a crime in the United States just over 20 years ago. Many other fields – like homelessness, substance use, and domestic violence – have been around a lot longer and have gotten to a point where they have several evidence-based models that they know are effective. There are national registries of programs that have been rigorously evaluated and proven effective – and in these registries, trafficking typically isn’t even a topic. The anti-trafficking field is young, and until recently a lot of programs hadn’t been at a place where they were ready to be objectively evaluated. But we’re growing, and we’re now ready as a field to take this next step. We look forward to a time in the future where several proven models of trafficking prevention and survivor care have emerged and trafficking is a topic covered in the national registries.
WHY DOES IT MATTER FOR OUR SUPPORTERS?
Whether you’ve donated, shared about our work with others, volunteered, or engaged from your corporate business, people like you give so that we can help kids. The trust that you put in us is essential so that we can build the programs children need in the first place. We still need your support to sustain and grow these programs today. It’s an honor to have your trust, and we don’t take it lightly. We owe it to you to get our programs evaluated, so you can give with even greater confidence that your generosity is having an impact on kids.
MORE ON THE EVALUATIONS:
Not a Number’s Implementation in Minnesota
The University of New Hampshire’s Crimes against Children Research Center and the University of Minnesota recently received a CDC grant to conduct a 5-year randomized control trial of the Not a Number program’s implementation in Minnesota. In Minnesota, Not a Number is being delivered through a train-the-trainer model administered through Safe Harbor. Partnering with 24 youth-serving organizations in Minnesota, the research team will used a mixed methods approach gathering both quantitative and qualitative data. As part of the evaluation, the research team will use a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) that incorporates community member feedback in identifying the project goals and outcomes.
The Survivor Care Program in Connecticut
The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice recently awarded the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes against Children Research Center a grant to conduct a 5-year mixed-methods, outcome evaluation of the Long-Term Services (LTS) component of Love146’s Survivor Care Program. The project will evaluate whether child sex trafficking victims who are enrolled in LTS show significant improvements in social, emotional, health, and education outcomes, compared to those who do not receive the LTS component (either waitlisted or not referred to LTS). The project involves a non-equivalent cohort methodology design with repeated pre-post measures. Youth will be enrolled for up to two years and outcomes will be followed over time. The goal of this project is to evaluate whether Love146’s LTS improve the health, safety, and emotional well-being of youth who experience trafficking victimization.