that domestic child sexual exploitation is still a burgeoning issue unfamiliar to many, GALs may
find that they are the most CSEC-informed members on the client’s team. Therefore, GALs
should actively welcome the role of educating others in a non-judgmental way about the unique
needs of this client population. It may be helpful to share educational materials or news articles
with other professionals. Useful resources to share with team members include Shared Hope
International,79 the Polaris Project,80 Washington State’s “Project Respect,”81 and the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign.82 Each of the websites of these
organizations is well-organized and written in plain language that is accessible even to those
unfamiliar with this topic. Additionally, prior to team meetings, it may be helpful to circulate a
brief proposed agenda in order to set the tone for the upcoming meeting and guide it towards a
positive, therapeutic conversation.
Depending on the child’s level of maturity and emotional stability, advocates may
consider involving the child in the process of educating the team advocating on his or her behalf.
Many CSEC advocacy groups have incorporated survivor-led trainings into their curriculums83
and trauma experts have determined that this experience of “meaning-making” is a capstone to
the healing process.84 Advocates, however, should make the decision to incorporate the child
client into this process in consultation with the child’s caregiver, therapist, and the child.
Importantly, the authors are not suggesting that the GAL should ignore or excuse a
client’s negative behaviors, since doing so could actually harm the client or impede therapeutic
progress. To the contrary, promoting a case theory that casts the child client in the appropriate
light, as a victim, not an offender, is simply a way of setting the stage for positive interaction with
assigned professionals and requesting specialized services, rather than those aimed at criminal
rehabilitation. The authors implore advocates to develop a case theory as a tool to achieve better
outcomes for their clients before, during, and after the trial stage of the proceeding. For the
CSEC-involved client, this case theory has the added benefit of appealing to both law and
common sense, and thus will likely prove persuasive to other members of the team.
E. Care Coordination and Service Recommendation
GALs can assist with the care, coordination, and monitoring process for CSEC youth.
Although there may sometimes be a team member tasked with this work, such as a probation
officer, this is often not the person best suited to execute these responsibilities. Probation officers
79 Shared Hope International (“SHI”) is a Christian abolitionist organization devoted to eradicating human trafficking in all of its
forms. Our Mission and Values, SHARED HOPE INT’L, http://sharedhope.org/about-us/our-mission-and-values/ (last visited Jan. 28,
2014). SHI maintains Protected Innocence Challenge “report cards” for each state available on its website, grading and summarizing
the legal protections and initiatives available to address CSEC in each state. See 2013 State Report Cards – Protected Innocence
Challenge, SHARED HOPE INT’L, sharedhope.org/what-we-do/bring-justice/reportcards/2013-reportcards/ (last visited Jan. 28, 2014).
The organization also produces training materials for educators and other individuals on human trafficking. See Human Trafficking
Training, SHARED HOPE INT’L, http://sharedhope.org/what-we-do/prevent/training/ (last visited Jan. 28, 2014).
80 The Polaris Project is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. whose mission is to combat human trafficking and
modern-day slavery. What We Do, POLARIS PROJECT, http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do (last visited Jan. 28, 2014). Its work
includes a policy advocacy arm, direct social services, training and technical assistance programs, and staffing the National Human
Trafficking Resource Center. Id.
81 Washington State has produced a comprehensive, multi-agency model protocol for CSEC youth. See CTR. FOR CHILD. & YOUTH
JUSTICE, WASHINGTON STATE MODEL PROTOCOL FOR COMMERCIALLY SEXUALLY EXPLOITED CHILDREN 23-29 (2013) [hereinafter
WASHINGTON STATE MODEL PROTOCOL], available at http://www.ccyj.org/Project%20Respect%20protocol.pdf. The protocol
provides guidance for jurisdictions on best practices for interviewing, data collection, information sharing, and service coordination
for this population. Id. at 25.
82 The Blue Campaign is a federal program administered through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that brings together law
enforcement, governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to increase awareness and training about human trafficking. End
Human Trafficking, U.S. DEP’T HOMELAND SECURITY, https://www.dhs.gov/end-human-trafficking (last visited Jan. 28, 2014).
83 Survivor Led Organizations, GEMS, http://www.gems-girls.org/survivor-led-organizations (last visited Mar. 29, 2014) (providing a
list of survivor led organizations in various states).