relevant community-related organizations (government, nongovernmental organizations [NGOs], businesses, schools, media, and health care delivery systems). Multisector and interagency collaborative approaches can become catalysts for the design and implementation of strategies and policies with a good chance of being timely, effective, relative, and sustainable (Buffardi et al., 2012).
This chapter focuses on the growing emphasis on multisector and interagency collaborative approaches to addressing the systemic issues of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. These approaches range from formal relationships based on memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to ad hoc and case-by-case arrangements drawing on networks of informal personal contacts. The chapter begins with an explanation of the value of such approaches. Next, because multisector and interagency work on commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States has been underexamined, the chapter presents lessons from related fields of practice and areas of research, including child maltreatment, domestic violence, and sexual assault. The chapter then describes a number of noteworthy multisector and interagency efforts in the area of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, including task force models and other state- and county-based collaborations. The committee used agency and organization reports, its public workshops, and its site visits to learn about these efforts; the descriptions of these efforts are meant to complement and supplement the limited published research. It should be noted that these models and activities have not been empirically evaluated. Thus, while the committee does not intend to imply that it is endorsing these approaches, it does endorse additional examination of their effectiveness. After reviewing these efforts, the chapter describes continuing challenges to multisector and interagency collaboration and identifies opportunities for additional collaboration. The final section presents findings and conclusions.
VALUE OF MULTISECTOR AND INTERAGENCY
RESPONSES AND COLLABORATION
Collaboration among multiple sectors, agencies, and organizations has the potential to help diverse entities gain a mutual understanding of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, which may enable them to address the crimes themselves, as well as the needs of victims/survivors, more effectively (Clawson et al., 2006; Piening and Cross, 2012). Through regular meetings and other information-sharing mechanisms, agencies and organizations from different sectors can formalize networks and forge institutionalized relationships among actors and across siloes. Collaboration can engender intervention at various levels,