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Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking - March 12, 2014 - Child Sex Trafficking Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking - March 12, 2014

Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking

Child Sex Trafficking Subcommittee Meeting Minutes


Wednesday, March 12, 2014                       1:30 pm - 3:00 pm           

San Francisco Police Department, 850 Bryant Street, Room 500, San Francisco, CA


Attendees: Kathy Baxter (Child Abuse Prevention Center), Ellen Bell (SAGE), Patrick Buckalew (Huckleberry House), Irene Casanova (Larkin Street Youth Services), Julius DeGuia (DA), Grace Fisher (DOSW), Johanna Gendelman (HSA-FCS), Charlene Henderson (HSA), Minouche Kandel (DOSW), Hyun-mi Kim (APILO), Alison Lustbader (DPH), Rebecca Marcus (Public Defender Office), JaMel Perkins (Private Sector), Kristin Snell (DOSW), Omid Talai (DA), John Tsutakawa (HSA-FCS), Ana Villagrán (JPD), Trenia Wearing (PD).

I.Introduction & Agenda Review & Minute Review

The meeting was called to order at 1:37pm. Attendees introduced themselves and reviewed the agenda for the current meeting. Minouche Kandel noted that Paniz Bagheri could not attend the meeting and the update on the state CSEC action team agenda item would be postponed.  The agenda was approved. The group also reviewed the meeting minutes from February.  John Tsutakawa asked that the minutes be amended to reflect that CSEC would not be added to Family & Children’s Services’ target areas for several months. The minutes were approved with this correction.

II.Update on Emergency Response to CSEC

Ms. Kandel informed the group that the Mayor’s Task Force was very supportive of the Emergency Response proposal.  She thanked the group for their hard work, noting that she has received the final numbers that are necessary to finalize the draft. Once the final draft of the proposal is completed, she will send it to the group. Ms. Kandel also reported that Diana Oliva-Aroche has begun shopping the proposal idea to private funders. If private funding is not available, the proposal will be presented to the City. Minouche Kandel asked that the group share the proposal with their funding connections.

Ms. Kandel also provided a brief overview of the data included in the proposal. She clarified in the text that the data may not reflect the prevalence of CSEC in San Francisco, as numbers might overlap between agencies.  The proposal details each agency’s method for generating data to improve transparency.

The group provided feedback on several details of the proposal. Lt. Wearing sought clarification on the training proposed for caseworkers in the proposal. Ms. Kandel explained that the training would be the responsibility of the funded agency. It would be CSEC specific to ensure that the advocates have specialized experience and training, as per the group’s concern that the advocate be able to address the unique needs of CSEC. The group was very excited to have this proposal represent a concrete product of their work.

III.Discussion of CSEC MDT and draft MOU

Ms. Kandel led a review of the draft MOU for a CSEC Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT).  The impetus for this MOU stems from a presentation to the CSEC subcommittee by Alameda County. In Alameda, the DA houses the MDT. Ms. Kandel noted that this model might not be appropriate for San Francisco and generated discussion on potential agencies to host the MDT.

Ms. Marcus proposed that the Department on the Status of Women (DOSW) house the MDT. As DOSW does not provide direct services, it could serve as an unbiased third party to support the MDT’s work. Ms. Bell suggested building upon the current system of the Multi-Agency Services Team (MAST). The group agreed that MAST could not undertake this project, but it could serve as a model for the MDT. The committee discussed the tone different agencies would set as hosts for the MDT meetings. Public agencies might not be able to allocate resources to hosting the MDT due to mandates and jurisdictions. Committee members agreed that the MDT should not be housed by a city agency.

Ms. Gendelman proposed including the MDT in the 24 hour emergency response proposal. In this way, the agency receiving funding could support both the crisis response and MDT meetings. Mr. Buckalew questioned the cost of hosting the MDT. The group estimated the expenses would relate to staff time, paper, copying, and other utility costs. The committee reached a consensus to add facilitating the MDT meetings to the CSEC emergency response proposal.

Mr. Buckalew questioned the specific purpose of the meetings and the type of youth that would be discussed. He noted that it would be redundant for the MDT to provide case management. Ms. Kim voiced her concern about legal issues in discussing specific cases at the MDT meetings. The committee agreed that the MDT would focus on collaborative safety planning and response, not case management. It is important to have representation from large institutions at the management level as well as direct service providers and policymakers at the table for MDT meetings to raise awareness about evolving issues and pool resources.

Ms. Kandel focused the discussion on the language of the MOU. The committee made several concrete suggestions for the section on the purpose of the MDT, such as eliminating the word “victims”, adding “to ensure appropriate services are available to meet the needs of CSEC in San Francisco” to clarify what the response would entail, and including transitional aged youth and those being served by San Francisco agencies even if they are not residing in the City. 

In the third paragraph, the group agreed to eliminate the third and fourth bullet points relating to case management and debated the sixth bullet point about police involvement. While some members of the committee felt that the DA and Police Department participation in other teams, like at CASARC, has been very successful and could be replicated in the MDT, others responded that clients would not be willing to share their information if they knew it would be presented to those two departments. Ms. Lustbader noted that this could also be an issue with mandatory reporters participating in the MDT. Mr. Buckalew suggested that this bullet point could fall under the necessary services and safety goal of the MDT and may not need to explicitly state involving the Police Department.

Ms. Baxter proposed that the MDT may actually be more community-based, rather than a multi-disciplinary team. While the committee members agreed that there are mutually beneficial components to having law enforcement and prosecution participate in the MDT meetings, there are real concerns about achieving informed consent from clients. Through this discussion, the group agreed to eliminate the sixth bullet point about police investigation. 

For the definition of CSEC, Ms. Bell proposed using the legal definition. The group supported this definition and the inclusion of a caveat in the MOU that there may be exceptions.

In discussing the frequency of meetings, Mr. Buckalew noted that CSEC cases do not occur on a regular basis. He suggested adjusting the meeting schedule based on need. Ms. Kandel responded that it would be difficult to schedule irregular meetings and ensure that everyone could attend. Mr. Tsutakawa reminded the committee that the meetings should focus on longer term safety planning as opposed to immediate response, making meeting as needed unnecessary. The group agreed to monthly meetings.

The convening agency is still to be determined.

The committee debated the DA’s involvement in the meetings. The victim’s confidentiality concerns were raised again as a reason not to include the DA. Ms. Marcus suggested inviting a DA staff person who is not a prosecutor. However, Ms. Kim did not believe this would assuage her client’s concerns. A confidentiality agreement was proposed as a method to ensure that information shared at the meetings would not be used to prosecute a case. The group was unable to reach a conclusion on this matter due to limited time.

IV.Update on State CSEC Action Team

Committee members decided to move this discussion to the next meeting, in order to allow more representatives from agencies that are stakeholders in the matter to participate.

V.Report Back on HSA Use of Hotline for Emergency Response

Due to limited time, the group decided to move this discussion to the next meeting.

VI.Next Steps

The meeting adjourned at 3:03pm.

The next meeting is set for:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


San Francisco Police Department

850 Bryant St, Room 500

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