The New Jersey Department of Education recently released Guidelines for Schools on the Prevention of Human Trafficking of Students.

The guidelines were released in recognition of Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which was in January, according to an NJDOE memo.

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that has been reported in all 50 states and affects those of all genders, ages, races, nationalities and socioeconomic statuses. Given that children and youth are common targets of exploitation, it is critical that school staff members are educated on the risk factors and behavioral indicators of trafficking. It is imperative that school staff are properly trained and prepared to respond to instances of suspected trafficking.

The NJDOE developed the guidelines in collaboration with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Children and Families and a working group of stakeholders. The guidelines provide a brief introduction to the crime of human trafficking as well as information and best practices on the following:

  • Risk factors, recruitment methods and behavioral indicators associated with the human trafficking of youth.
  • Strategies on the prevention of human trafficking within schools.
  • Development and/or strengthening of reporting and response protocols.
  • Procedures regarding the maintenance of confidentiality and privacy.
  • Relevant and associated terms to help with the understanding and identification of human trafficking.

In addition to a quick reference sheet for school staff, the guidelines also provide resources to support schools in their awareness and prevention efforts including:

  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Training materials.
  • Developmentally appropriate resources and curriculum.
  • Trauma-informed considerations and resources.
  • Parent and family engagement resources.

Questions can be directed to