A Supportive Adult May Be the Difference in Homeless Youth Not Being Trafficked

Chisolm-Straker, M.,
Sze, J.,
Einbond, J.,
White, J.,
Stoklosa, H.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
Children and Youth Services Review
Volume: 91


This journal article describes a study that explored the factors that differentiate homeless youth who have been trafficked from those who have not. The researchers recruited a sample of homeless youth, ages 18 to 22, who received services from the Covenant House New Jersey (CHNJ) between November 2015 and February 2017. Results from the CHNJ's mandatory trafficking assessment found that 9.6 percent of the 344 youth participants had a trafficking experience. In bivariable analysis, the researchers found a novel association between a youth having an Individualized Education Program/504 plan and having a trafficking experience. Educators develop these plans for students whose ability to succeed in traditional educational formats is challenged by learning, social, or functional problems. In the multivariable analysis, a history of arrest was associated with being trafficked while the presence of a supportive adult was associated with not being trafficked. Gender was not associated with a trafficking experience. This is the largest known study to specifically assess homeless youths' demographic and social variables for associations with trafficking experiences. Building upon these findings, the authors suggest researching the order of occurrence (e.g. did the IEP/504 plan precede, co-occur, or succeed the trafficking experience?) to identify risk factors and protective factors to contribute to evidence-based prevention efforts. (author abstract modified)



Full-text article available for free download at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740918300434
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