Human Trafficking Outcomes

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PWCS is a national leader in a school based, comprehensive trafficking prevention program. This initiative is currently supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. It first began through a grant from the Potomac Health Foundation and was derived from a VA state mandate for school boards to have information regarding the topic.

Lesson Outcomes 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Totals

Students coming forward after the lesson.

 100 79 123 212 153 117 150 934

Percent of students coming forward who were sexually assaulted, groomed, or victims of trafficking.  

 27 %

 Percent of students who came forward to ask additional questions or discuss the lesson further.


Overall, students consistently demonstrated large gains (from 56% to 72%) in perceived knowledge about human trafficking based on pre/post testing.

Key Highlights:

  • Presented for the U.S. Department of Education, “The Identification and Support of Students Affected by Human Trafficking (2020).
  • Awarded the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) Outstanding Criminal Justice Program
    Award (2019).
  • Presented to the Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Prevention (2019).
  • Presented to the Virginia State Delegates about human trafficking within schools (2018).
  • Presented for the INOVA Symposium, “Child Trafficking: The Hidden Crime” (2018).
  • Participated in the development of statewide training guidelines for human trafficking with the Virginia Department of Education (2017).
  • Recipient of the Champions for Children Award from PWCS (2017).
  • Presented at the Virginia Association of School Nurses Conference (2016 and 2017).
  • Presented at Virginia Commonwealth University (2016).
  • Presented at “Sex Trafficking of Minors in America's Schools: Why Prevention Education Is Necessary” Summit (2016).
  • Recipient of the Best Practice: Innovation award from Potomac Health Foundation (2015).
  • Presented at the National Educators Against Trafficking Conference (2014).
  • Partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • Recipient of the Allies in Prevention Award for Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern VA (SCAN).
  • The first school jurisdiction in the United States to provide a comprehensive school-based program.
  • Invited to Capitol Hill twice.
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services - Home | Facebook


 This project was supported by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant #19-C3440JJ15, with funds made available to the Commonwealth of Virginia from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.


Success Stories

*A middle school student disclosed she was sold on Face Book starting at age 10. Due to coordinated case management, the student received mental health supports, maintained her grades and attendance and is involved in school activities. Her traffickers were arrested. 


*A middle school student was advertised through several online sites and trafficked throughout Virginia and Maryland in 2018 and 2019.  Collaborative efforts with law enforcement and prosecutors led to her safe return and the defendants were sentenced to a combined 81 years in prison.  The trafficking program worked closely with community agencies to provide mental health support to the student and her family.  


*An international labor trafficking ring was identified where students were being sold to families in Prince William and used in domestic servitude.

Elizabeth Young
Supervisor of School Social Workers

Office of Student Services

Mary Ellen Smith
Human Trafficking Prevention Specialist
Office of Student Services