Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator to develop a comprehensive response to the issue
TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel is pleased to announce the creation of a new position within the agency to specifically address the human trafficking of children in Kansas. The position was announced today, during a news conference in Topeka, at which City of Topeka and Shawnee County leaders unveiled a joint resolution to combat human trafficking in northeast Kansas.
“We know there is a great need for collaboration on this important issue,” Secretary Meier-Hummel said. “This modern-day form of slavery is a reality in every corner of our state, and as we work to address the safety needs of child victims, we need a united effort to prevent human trafficking and develop a comprehensive response to the problem.”
The Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator position will be within DCF’s Prevention and Protection Services division, in Topeka. The individual hired will be responsible for leading the agency’s initiative to strengthen the comprehensive response and service system for youth in DCF care who are victims of human trafficking or are at risk. The position involves direct coordination with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and law enforcement. Data will be collected and analyzed to ensure an effective response.
“Human trafficking is a problem that goes unseen for most of us, yet it affects so many,” Governor Jeff Colyer said. “I appreciate Secretary Meier-Hummel’s commitment to tackling this problem, and I look forward to the positive impact it will have on our state.”
From March 2014 to December 2018, DCF helped 285 suspected child victims of human trafficking.
Secretary Meier-Hummel is focused on working with government entities, communities and others to combat human trafficking. As part of today’s news conference, details about a grassroots-level initiative were announced. Freedom Now is an anti-human trafficking effort led by Topeka Rescue Mission Executive Director Barry Feaker.
“We appreciate the participation from DCF on this monumental initiative,” Feaker said. “At the Topeka Rescue Mission, we have seen first-hand the tremendous impact this evil has on the lives of innocent children, and we will no longer stand for it. We expect our local effort to expand statewide and beyond as residents begin to realize that this is an issue that affects all of us, and we all have a role to play in stopping it.”
In addition to the new position, DCF also has staff members who sit on the State’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board. DCF also has staff on the Freedom Now board. Learn more about the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator position at the Kansas Department of Administration website, State Employment Center. Those who suspect human trafficking involving a minor should call 1-800-922-5330.