Pediatric providers have the opportunity to offer services addressing the myriad short and long-term needs of children and youth who have experienced trafficking and exploitation, and those at risk.  Since many individuals have very limited financial resources, they need easy access to free or low-fee health services that include:

  • Immunizations
  • Family planning
  • Reproductive health
  • Developmental assessments
  • Anticipatory guidance
  • STI and HIV testing and HIV PrEP or PEP management
  • Substance use counseling, referrals and discussions around harm reduction
  • Psychoeducation to reduce traumatic stress symptoms
  • Referrals for mental health services
  • Referrals for specialty care
  • Dental care

Modifying Visits to Better Serve Survivors

Providing direct healthcare services to trafficked children and youth may require changes to work-flow and practice to accommodate issues regarding the frequent movement of trafficked persons and temporary loss to follow-up (e.g., foster care changes, runaway behavior, movement while ‘in the life’), as well as the difficulty experienced by many individuals in accessing healthcare during normal business hours. Adjustments may include a shift or extension of business hours and increased flexibility in response to ‘no-show’ and cancelled appointments. When possible, attempt to ensure consistency in care providers to help address the strong distrust in the health system experienced by many patients with a history of exploitation.

Models of Care

Pediatricians can learn from existing models of care designed to serve individuals who are experiencing or at risk for trafficking and exploitation. Critical input also may be obtained from expert consultation by adults who have experienced labor or sex trafficking. Grants or other sources of funding should be sought to compensate these consultants fairly for their time.

Trauma-informed Care & Trafficking Clinics: Summary of Best Practices and Research Publications

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics