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Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking - May 14, 2014 - Meeting Minutes

Mayor's Task Force on Human Trafficking - May 14, 2014

Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking

Child Sex Trafficking Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 14, 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); Patrick Buckalew (Huckleberry House); Irene Casanova (Larkin Street Youth Services); Catherine Cousart (Human Services Agency); Denny David (LYRIC); Grace Fisher (Department on Status of Women); Kelly Gilliam (F.D. Homes/Nalls Foundation); Jill Jacobs (Family Builders); Minouche Kandel (Department on Status of Women); John Tsutakawa (Human Services Agency); Ana Villagrán (Juvenile Probation Department); Trenia Wearing (Police Department).


  1. Introduction & Agenda Review & Minutes Review

The meeting was called to order at 1:35 pm. Attendees introduced themselves and reviewed the agenda for the current meeting. Kelly Gilliam asked if the CSEC case review should be included on the agenda. Minouche Kandel responded that the case review is not part of the CSEC subcommittee and therefore is not included in the agenda. The agenda was approved. The group also reviewed the minutes from the April meeting. Kathy Baxter noted that there was a typo in the next steps section, which inaccurately stated that DCYF was putting together a RFQ. It was actually DPH. The minutes were approved with this amendment.


  1. Update on Emergency Response to CSEC

Ms. Kandel informed the group that, at the request of Diana Oliva-Aroche, she will be meeting with Ken Epstein to discuss whether the CSEC proposal could fit into the DPH crisis response teams. DPH re-issued the RFQ for the crisis teams, broadening the population to target adults and youth. DPH is holding a pre-proposal conference on May 30 from 4:30-5:30 pm, at 1380 Howard St, room TBD. Ms. Kandel invited attendees to participate in this conference to advocate for CSEC specific services. Under the current RFQ, it would be possible for a CSEC focused organization to apply in collaboration with another organization that could provide the broader services necessary for the crisis teams.

Ms. Kandel also reported that she met with the Department on the Status of Women’s (DOSW) budget analyst about including the CSEC proposal in the City budget, but was told that this will most likely not be feasible. Therefore, DPH might be a more promising funding stream to explore.

John Tsutakawa asked whether the group thought it would be better for the CSEC response to be a standalone service or part of the DPH crisis team. Ms. Kandel responded that ideally it would be a standalone service, so the staff could focus solely on CSEC. The group agreed.

Ms. Kandel added the SAGE is applying for federal funding that could partially support the emergency response.  

Lt. Wearing asked if the DOSW, in collaboration with service providers, could take the lead in applying to DPH’s RFQ. Ms. Kandel said the DOSW does not qualify for the RFQ and its involvement would only dilute the funding as DOSW would receive part of the grant without providing direct services.

Ms. Baxter asked if agencies that are applying to the RFQ are equipped to work with CSEC. Ms. Kandel could not respond definitively, however she did report that DPH re-issued the RFQ to solicit more applications. Ms. Kandel thought this reflected DPH’s willingness to incorporate CSEC-specific services. The DPH funding is also a good option because it does not hinge on City budgets.   

Mr. Tsutakawa proposed approaching the Board of Supervisors for funding. Ms. Kandel said this was a possibility if an agency was willing to take the lead. Ms. Baxter noted that the Children’s Fund is up for renewal. She said that they are in the process of negotiating an increase in funding, specifically for services targeting transitional age youth, which could be another funding source for the CSEC emergency response.

Mr. Tsutakawa reminded the group that the CSEC emergency response may be a long term project. In light of AB 2035, he thought this could potentially be funded by Child Welfare in the next few years. Ms. Kandel added that San Francisco’s State Legislative committee supports AB 2035.


  1. Discussion/Creation of a CSEC Protocol

Ms. Kandel overviewed the discussion of creating a MOU at previous meetings, which illustrated the importance of establishing a county-wide protocol for responding to CSEC. The group reviewed protocols from Alameda County and Washington State as templates. Ms. Kandel proposed following the Washington State model, as it includes a general mission and principles as well as detailed roles for each agency.  The group agreed to discuss the mission and core principles at the current meeting and then address the role of each agency at the next meeting.

Ms. Kandel opened the discussion by endorsing the Washington State mission statement, which describes goals similar to what the CSEC committee is already doing, and adding language that would be more appropriate for San Francisco. She proposed adding “inclusive of the diversity of San Francisco” to address the many different cultures represented in the City. Ms. Baxter also thought it would be beneficial to explicitly detail that CSEC will be served regardless of gender, immigration status, and other demographic characteristics.

For a core principle, Ms. Kandel believed it was important to include “Ensure that by benefiting one group another is not harmed,” to address the concern of sex workers in San Francisco.

Ms. Baxter asked if the protocol would be statewide, as it is in Washington. Ms. Kandel responded that this protocol would only apply to San Francisco. However, the California committee to address CSEC is looking to create a model protocol for the State. Mr. Tsutakawa added that the State committee is conducting research this summer on the best models to create a protocol for testing next year. However, he did not believe San Francisco should wait for the state model. He also noted that it will be important to consider Child Welfare’s changing role in relation to responding to CSEC if AB 2035 passes.

Ms. Gilliam informed the group that Sacramento is modeling its approach after Alameda. Ms. Kandel reminded the group that the committee liked certain aspects of Alameda’s approach, but not the way it retains the CSEC in the juvenile delinquency system, treating them as criminals. Mr. Tsutakawa agreed that criminalization is an issue, but he was also concerned that the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) is the only place that can effectively hold or contain CSEC for services.

Lt. Wearing echoed Mr. Tsutakawa’s concerns about containment. She said the services that the JJC provides are essential for CSEC safety. Ms. Villagrán informed the group that Chief Nance is considering the creation of a waiver for CSEC so that they can interact with the District Attorney’s office or law enforcement without being arrested.

Mr. Buckalew acknowledged the group’s concern for the safety of CSEC, but reminded the group that the emergency response proposal for an organization like SAGE is meant to prevent CSEC from being sent to the JJC.

The group was concerned that without a dedicated facility, CSEC may still go right back to their pimps without getting the services they need. The specialized home at Edgewood was raised as an example of a failed attempt to do this outside the JJC.

Ms. Kandel reiterated the importance of this discussion, but wanted the group to focus on the mission statement for this meeting. The responding agency will be decided in the upcoming meetings. She appreciated that the Washington State mission statement acknowledges that the protocol raises difficult discussions between different perspectives and philosophies.

Ms. Baxter asked for clarification on the Department on the Status of Women’s (“the Department”) viewpoint. Ms. Kandel emphasized that the Department holds the CSEC meetings as a neutral party to facilitate open discussion. She welcomed suggestions for ways to improve as well as new members for inclusion.

Mr. Buckalew noted that the protocol should state that San Francisco will to the best of its ability also serve CSEC who are involved in the child welfare system of another county. Mr. Tsutakawa acknowledged that this will be complicated and more difficult if the CSEC are not dependents. Ms. Kandel proposed adding “to the extent possible, serve all CSEC located in San Francisco county” as a core principle. This would also address the concern of serving undocumented CSEC or unaccompanied minors.

Mr. David liked that the Washington State model outlined a theory of change for the protocol. However, he thought the last sentence of the mission statement should be a core principle instead.

The group discussed the age range that would define CSEC. It was noted that there would be difficulties with the way the law treats people over 18 years old as adults. Ms. Kandel proposed that services would be available until the age of 21. Ms. Baxter noted that the Children’s Fund would support people until they were 24 years old. Ms. Kandel suggested that the protocol should serve those until they are 24 and refer to Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth (CSEY) instead of CSEC. The group agreed. The protocol will detail that “services available to youth up to age of 24” as one of the core principles.

Lt. Wearing informed the group that the Police Department is running operations in May and June to target sex trafficking hot spots. Operations consist of a team for rescuing CSEC, a team to arrest pimps, and a team to arrest sex buyers. Ms. Kandel asked if the operations are targeting youth who are commercially sexually exploited.  Lt. Wearing responded that it is rare to find youth on these operations. However, if they find a CSEC, the child will be brought to the JJC and SAGE will be called.

Ms. Kandel refocused the discussion on the mission statement and core principles. She proposed adding “addressing the diverse communities as San Francisco” as a core principle and ending the mission statement after “holding their exploiters accountable”. The group agreed.

Attendees agreed on the first sentence of the first core principle listed in the Washington model. Ms. Kandel acknowledged that the second sentence is contentious and will be discussed at the next meeting.  

The group liked core principle b, but was concerned that it might not be feasible. This discussion will continue at the next meeting. In the meantime, Ms. Kandel asked each agency to look at the role of their agency in the Washington model and come to the next meeting with specific language about their role for the San Francisco protocol.


  1. Update on Involving Youth in the Committee

Ms. Kandel reminded the group that involving youth in the committee had been discussed at the April meeting. Since then, Ms. Kandel reached out to the Youth Commission and will meet with commission staff and a commissioner at the end of the month. However, she reiterated Mr. David’s concern that the adding youth to the subcommittee might not be the most effective method for incorporating their voices. She added that Glenn Eagleson, Senior Planner and Policy Analyst at DCYF with expertise working with transitional age youth, will hopefully attend future meetings to discuss youth involvement. Ms. Cousart noted that the California Youth Connection has a Foster Care committee that could be good resource. Ms. Villagrán also reported that JPD has a juvenile advisory committee of youth that have been through the juvenile justice system.

Mr. Buckalew asked about accessing CSEC youth for involvement in the committee. Ms. Kandel responded that the group had previously discussed including a former foster care youth, a former CSEC, and a youth who had been through the juvenile justice system. Ms. Baxter noted that it would be great to include an LGBT youth perspective as well.


  1. Next Steps

The next agenda will focus on the protocol.  Ms. Kandel also solicited suggestions for additional members that should be included in the CSEC subcommittee. The meeting adjourned at 3:07 pm.


Next meeting:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


San Francisco Police Department

850 Bryant St, Room 500

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