Eric Masten
Director of Public Policy
National Network for Youth   (202) 596-5935

Luke Knittig
Senior Director of Communications
McCain Institute   (202) 601-4288

McCain Institute and National Network for Youth team up:
Initial project to certify service providers on best practices to counter human trafficking of vulnerable youth in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2018) – Part of a wider new partnership, McCain Institute and the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) today announced a certificate program for runaway and homeless youth service providers on how to identify and address human trafficking.  This in-person, one-day training session will debut as part of the sixth annual National Summit on Youth and Homelessness here in March, 2019.

Both skill and knowledge-based, the certification training will focus on how to identify at risk youth, connect trafficked young people to services, and arrange specialized care.

“Children and youth in transition are at particular risk for human trafficking and exploitation.  Collaborating to certify service providers in the field is key,” said Heather Fischer, manager of McCain Institute’s Combatting Human Trafficking program.

NN4Y has integrated this as an optional training day for the national summit. McCain Institute and NN4Y has undertaken the curriculum and instruction, with both partnering to secure top instructors and material.

“Runaway and homeless youth agencies for the most part have no money or means for formal training to tackle trafficking.  Our partnership aims to help, starting with this training program,” said Darla Bardine, NN4Y’s executive director.

Guiding the instruction are an advisory group of leading researchers, and experts on human trafficking, youth homelessness, and child welfare.  Extending the certificate program to additional venues and offering it online are under consideration, added Fischer and Bardine.

The Voices of Youth Count study conducted by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness a year.  NN4Y’s white paperResponding to Youth Homelessness: A Key Strategy for Preventing Human Trafficking” estimates that at least 800,000 of them suffer human trafficking in varying forms.

About National Network for Youth (NN4Y)
The National Network for Youth (NN4Y) has been a public education and policy advocacy organization dedicated to the prevention and eradication of youth homelessness in America for over 40 years. As the largest and most diverse network of its kind, NN4Y mobilizes over 300 members and affiliates — organizations that work on the front lines every day to provide prevention services and respond to runaways and youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.  Learn more at

About McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University
The McCain Institute, founded in 2012 as part of Arizona State University, is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.  Inspired by the leadership of Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute is a non-partisan, do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership in the U.S. and abroad.  The Institute seeks to advance security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity.  Learn more at

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July 17, 2018

513 words2 min read