Warm Hand-Offs and Follow-up

Chaplains may be the first to hear a victim’s disclosure of human trafficking. As you assess a victim’s needs, often a warm handoff will help provide a robust support network for the victim to receive care on their journey to healing.

The Process

Think about all the information you gleaned from your conversation with the individual and determine possible needs and resources to meet those needs

Empower the individual to actively participate in the referral process and safety planning

“Warm hand-off” when appropriate

Resources and Referrals are a key factor in meeting the many needs of a client who is a trafficking victim.

A referral is most helpful when...

  • You have a community network to rely on
  • Your referral is trauma informed
  • You know the services and providers where you are referring individuals


Acute Issues

Treatment of STIs and Illnesses or Injuries

Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Pregnancy Related

Mental Health

Trauma-Focused Counseling

Addressing Mental Illness

Learning Emotional Regulation


Secure Housing

Food, Clothing, and Other Basic Needs

Time for Sleep and Detox

Life Skills

Conflict Management

Educational Services

Job Skills Training

Spiritual Needs

Love and Forgiveness

Meaning-making and Purpose

Community Support

Victims and survivors of human trafficking have many needs beyond the initial disclosure and concern issue for which they may first seek counsel. While Chaplains cannot meet all the needs a victim or survivor may have, they can be aware of the multiple needs and know how to refer to other agencies that can provide that help. In these cases, experts recommend “warm hand-offs” whenever possible.

The U.S. Department of Defense has many components that can provide specialized services once human trafficking has been uncovered. Chaplains are uniquely positioned in the DoD with awareness of multiple DoD Services and community connections and can creatively encourage a victim or survivor to utilize additional support. Studies show that warm hand-offs increase the rate of follow-through for behavioral healthcare as well as unmet social needs.