ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services today announced $1 million in grant awards to support the expansion of the Child Sex Trafficking Screening and Services Act Regional Navigator Program to 11 counties in Maryland. The program launched in 2019, with the Cecil County Department of Social Services, University of Maryland SAFE Center, and Washington County Department of Social Services participating in the pilot phase. The latest grant award continues support for these programs and also launches Regional Navigator services in Baltimore City, as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Harford, Howard, and Prince George’s Counties.
The Regional Navigator Program was created by the Child Sex Trafficking Screening and Services Act of 2019 and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. The law requires law enforcement and local departments of social services to notify a Regional Navigator when they encounter a youth they have reason to believe may be a victim of sex trafficking. The Regional Navigator either provides or connects that young person, with necessary services, up to age 24. Since 2015, the Hogan administration has allocated roughly $54 million to organizations addressing human trafficking in Maryland.
“The Regional Navigator Program illustrates the same connection that our office makes across our three-pronged approach to reduce crime and make Maryland safer, utilizing law enforcement to connect victims to key services and improving the well-being of Maryland youth,” said Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services Executive Director, Glenn Fueston. “Expanding this program creates a stronger network of caring adults and resources that can help more young victims of sex trafficking build new, more secure lives away from the people who exploit them.”
Child advocacy centers, sexual assault crisis programs, and qualified community-based victim services providers were encouraged to apply for funding. The full list of recipients is as follows: