Anti-human trafficking task force signs memorandum of understanding

Representatives from more than 20 local agencies plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, September 14 to officially outline the Rock County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force’s (RCAHTTF) collaborative mission, roles and advocacy in our area.

“As educators, we have a responsibility to look out for the health, safety, and welfare of our students, and being a partner in the Rock County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is a natural fit,” said Steve Pophal, Superintendent of the School District of Janesville. “Our teachers and staff see the children every day, and are in a unique position to be able to raise awareness, concern, and provide assistance when needed.”

The multi-jurisdictional task force is designed as a collaborative network to identify those at risk, raise awareness, provide training and address gaps in services for individuals who are trafficked.

“While we don’t have exact data to show specific numbers, we know it is impacting the young women and children of our community,” says Jason Steinke, Director of Emergency Services and ICU at SSM Health. “If we can come together as a stronger unified community to raise awareness and educate, we can help rescue those silent victims that need help the most.”

“Multiple systems must be engaged in order to build a response that meets the needs of the youth,” says Penny Nevicosi, Rock County Juvenile Justice Supervisor. “As youth have different points of entry into the system, it is critical that providers have a venue for communication in order to leverage resources.”

Representatives from the agencies will sign the MOU at 9:00am on Thursday, September 14 at Community Action, Inc., 20 Eclipse Center, Beloit.