If you suspect a child is being trafficked or sexually abused, please contact:

Montana's Statewide Toll-Free Child Abuse Hotline 1-866-820-KIDS (1-866-820-5437)

Montana Department of Justice, Agent Gary Sedar 406-896-4389

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent Brandon Walter 406-254-8117


 

Featured Resource

Teacher Learning Hub Course:  
This course was developed through a partnership between the Office of Public Instruction and the University of Montana Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development. 

 

 

Children growing up in a digital world need extra tools to stay safe from predators.  The resources on this website have been compiled to empower parents, educators, child-care providers, and community members to protect children against sex trafficking and other forms of child sexual abuse.  Many things can increase a child's vulnerability, such as unhealthy relationships, unfiltered social media or internet access, exposure to pornography, sexting, bullying, substance abuse, homelessness, low self-confidence, etc.  With increased awareness and education, you can help Montana children become resistant to all forms of sexual exploitation. 

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Resources

Policy, Procedure, and Protocols

Policy

The following Montana Codes guide the OPI's sex trafficking and sexual abuse prevention work. Please refer to the OPI's Child Trafficking Awareness and Prevention course on the Teacher's Learning Hub for more information.   

Montana Code Annotated: 20-7-1311 

  • The office of public instruction is encouraged to develop and maintain model school district policies and procedures for child sexual abuse awareness, prevention, response, and reporting. Any model policies and procedures developed may include:
    • Basic principles of child sexual abuse prevention 
    • Warning signs of a child who is being sexually abused
    • Actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse may take to obtain assistance
    • Counseling options
    • Educational support available for a child who is a victim of sexual abuse to enable the child to develop the child's full educational potential
    • Response and reporting procedures

Montana Code Annotated: 20-7-1316

  • The office of public instruction is encouraged to undertake activities to educate Montanans about and prevent child sex trafficking.  Activities may include but are not limited to:
    • Reviewing best practices for preventing child sex trafficking
    • Providing access to educational resources for interested parents, teachers, child-care providers, and other community members on how to prevent child sex trafficking, on the warning signs of child sex trafficking, and on predatory behaviors
    • Coordinating educational and prevention efforts with law enforcement, the department of public health and human services, and local organizations that work to prevent child sex trafficking
    • Supporting school districts in developing:
      • Policies on child sex trafficking awareness, prevention, response, and reporting
      • Educational materials and curricula aimed at preventing child sex trafficking

Montana Code Annotated 41-3-201:

  • Montana Code Annotated, the mandated reporting statute.  

 


Protocols

Anti-human trafficking response protocols should be tailored to an individual community's resources.  Protocols should be developed and piloted through partnerships including schools; Child Protective Services; local, county, state, and federal policy/law enforcement; prosecutors; medical providers; and victim services organizations. 

The Polaris Project developed a generic protocol designed for educators - it is shown here with some modifications to specifically identify sex trafficking red flags and indicators, as well as identifying 911 as the preferred contact. 

Polaris Project Protocol Flow Cart

Internet Safety

*Funding Opportunity* Grants for schools for White Ribbon Week and Stand Week are available through End Exploitation Montana, generally available through Nov. 30 of each year.

White Ribbon Week

  • This research-based, positive school climate program helps kids make healthy choices in media and technology.  Each day kids learn a new principle of online behavior reinforced through discussion and fun activities. This program can be presented by volunteers or teachers.  

Stand Week

NetSmartz Workshop

  • This interactive, educational program from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, provides age-appropriate resources to teach children how to be safer on and off line. It's designed for kids age 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement and entertains while it educates with videos, games, activity cards, and presentation. 

Educate Empower Kids: 

  • This resource provides great resources specifically for parents to use to help children stay safe while online.
  • This service helps anyone remove online nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit content that were taken as a minor. 
 

 

 

Resources and Contacts

Montana School Guidelines for the Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect 2020-2022, MT Department of Public Health and Human Services

Human Trafficking in America's Schools: 

  • A pioneering guide funded through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students, it helps school officials understand how human trafficking impacts schools; recognize the indicators of possible child trafficking; and develop policies, protocols and partnerships to address and prevent the exploitation of children.

Addressing the Growing Problem of Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors through PBIS

  • This practice brief suggests a framework for integrating school-based prevention and intervention strategies through Positive Behavioral interventions and Supports (PBIS).  Compliments the above report. 

Human Trafficking of Children in the United States: A Fact Sheet for Schools- U.S. Department of Education 

The Facts around Sex Trafficking- Polaris Project

How to Recognize the Signs of Human Trafficking- Polaris Project 

Curriculum Materials

National Educators to Stop Trafficking (NEST): 

  • Provides age-appropriate curriculum and resources to educate and empower youth, teaching them how to void being trafficked, stand up for victims of trafficking, and spread the word in their communities with the goal of ending sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

The LifeLine Project: 

  • Every 34 seconds another teenager enters the life of exploitation.  This 45-60 minute full sensory experience encourages students to be the difference makers in their friends and classmates lives, while breaking the norm of “mind your own business”.  We aim to educate and empower students, teachers, and communities by shining a light on the reality of modern day slavery; human trafficking.  To accomplish this we provide an assembly program, staff training, classroom sessions, and a community comeback rally.

POWER UP, SPEAK OUT!

  • This five-lesson toolkit created in 2012 in Red Lodge, MT, encourages middle school students to think critically about healthy relationships, power dynamics, boundaries, and consent.  Lessons teach students what to do, instead of what not to do and resonates with youth statewide.  It meets Montana Health Enhancement Standards and the National School Counselor Association standards.  As of 2017, over 500 educators have been trained to use the program and it has reached 27,000 youth in half the counties in Montana.  Everyone deserves healthy relationships, join the uprising!

OPI's Curriculum One-Pager

  • Provides links to vetted curriculum organized by grade level, cost and type of resource. 

Training and Professional Development

Teacher Learning Hub Courses:

Child Trafficking Awareness and Prevention.  

  • This course was developed through a partnership between the Office of Public Instruction and the University of Montana Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development.  

Warning Signs: Child Sexual Abuse

  • This course provides training for Montana educators for the awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse.  

Mandatory Reporter Hub Course: 

  • School officials in Montana are mandatory reporters when there is suspected child abuse and neglect.  If you have concerns or questions regarding your obligation in reporting child abuse of any kind, please contact Child and Family Services Division at 1-866-820-5437.

MT Department of Justice: Human Trafficking 101 Training

brick wall with a poster of a girl that reads human trafficking in montana: hidden in plain sight

 Montana Department of Justice - Human Trafficking

To request a human trafficking presentation for your organization, contact DOJ's special Services Bureau at (406) 444-1476.  

The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  In recognition of this significant milestone, the U.S. Department of Education is conducting a webinar series to address the growing response of America's schools to child trafficking.  Be sure to check out a recording of their most recent webinar Addressing Human Trafficking: An Expanded Look at Online Safety. Recording of the earlier webinars Identifying and Supporting Students Affected by Human Trafficking and Human Trafficking: Online Safety are also available. 

Vulnerable Populations


OPI Staff are here to help: 

Genie ZeeckHealth Enhancement Program Specialist - 406.444.3178

Michele Henson, School Safety Program Manager - 406.595.1058