History & Key Highlights


  • 2013: Received an initial grant from the Potomac Health Foundation
  • 2016: Program was funded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
  • 2018: PWCS fully funded the program and a human trafficking prevention specialist position.

Key Highlights:

  • Presented for the U.S. Department of Education, "The Identification and Support of Students Affected by Human Trafficking (2020).
  • Presented to PWC Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judges (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).
  • Invited to present to the Virginia State Delegate Crime Commission (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.
  • In partnership with PWCPD and DHS, participated in recovering and coordinating victim services for multiple endangered runaway students from PWCS, and students involved in several international labor trafficking rings.
  • Invited to Capitol Hill twice. 
Success Stories

*A middle school student disclosed she was sold on Facebook 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.

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services logo 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.

For more information, please contact:

Tiffany DiBenedetto, MSW
Human Trafficking Prevention Specialist & Foster Care Liaison
[email protected]