Gov. Beshear: State Tackling Findings of UofL Child Trafficking Study with $1 Million Federal Grant
Project PIVOT identifies opportunities for education, training, policy development
FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday said a $1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will help the state address key findings of the University of Louisville (UofL) Human Trafficking Research Initiative’s Project PIVOT: Prevention and Intervention for Victims of Trafficking, a two-year research project.
When Gov. Beshear served as Attorney General, his office collaborated with Project PIVOT on the research. Now that he is Governor, his administration is working to carry out the project’s recommendations, which include the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) creating an advisory council; launching a human trafficking and child labor screening tool to identify high-risk children; and hiring a full-time child protection specialist.
“I have always made seeking justice for victims and fighting human trafficking part of my core mission,” the Governor said. “The resources made possible through this grant will allow my administration to address research findings that will help us to better fight this scourge of human trafficking and save lives. I would like to thank Dr. Middleton and her team for their hard work in this crucial area.”
Jennifer Middleton, Ph.D., LCSW, principal investigator for Project PIVOT and associate professor, UofL Kent School of Social Work, presented research findings Wednesday and said, “We learned that child trafficking is primarily happening at the hands of family members – people in our community that we know, live next to or interact with.