Title

A Quality Improvement Project to Facilitate a Human Trafficking Screening Protocol at a Maternal Resource Center

Date of Degree

12-2020

Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program

Nursing

Advisor

Jean Dols

Abstract

Human trafficking is a global, criminal industry that negatively impacts the health of victims. Most U.S. victims of human trafficking are young females. Many female sex trafficking victims will seek health care services for unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Healthcare professionals fail to identify human trafficking victims due to lack of standardized screening. The aim of the project was to initiate a sustainable, standardized human trafficking screening protocol at a Maternal Resource Center in order to improve human trafficking identification.

This 10-week quality improvement project provided the staff and volunteers at a Maternal Resource Center with the necessary tools to implement evidence-based practices for human trafficking screening. Prior to this project there was no active, standardized screening to identify victims at the Maternal Resource Center. Objectives included addition of a human trafficking screening tool into routine clinic processes, formulation and distribution of a human trafficking resource packet for staff and qualifying clients, creation and display of a confidential human trafficking tear-off flyer, education for staff and volunteers, and the delineation of human trafficking protocol steps to facilitate safe decision-making. Of the 304 clients screened, 14 (4.6%) clients gave positive answers to human trafficking screening questions. The 14 clients included five (35.7%) victims who confirmed being trafficked, six (42.9%) clients displaying risk factors but denied being trafficked, and three (21.4%) clients with prior/current abusive relationships.

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