National Practices Study – 2019

This national survey seeks to garner responses from service providers in the United States offering residential care to victims of exploitation, prostitution, and/or human trafficking. The study explores how these agencies are structured, managed, funded, staffed, the clients served, therapies employed, and challenges these agencies face.

The 2017 study included nearly 60 agencies nationwide and has been used by the Federal government, philanthropists, and academic institutions as the baseline for understanding this emerging field. The 2017 report can be downloaded here.

Criteria to Participate

To participate in this study, you must meet the following conditions:

  • represent a residential (shelter) program providing services to victims of exploitation/prostitution or any form of human trafficking
  • operate your shelter program within the United States
  • have at least 12 consecutive months of providing residential service
  • be authorized to represent your agency’s data and responses. There is to be only one survey response per shelter agency.

Participating in this survey will take a considerable amount of time. You can stop at any time and pick up where you left off. You can also download a PDF copy of the full survey to assemble your responses on paper before going online.

Responding agencies are not compensated for their participation, nor will the Institute use any portion of the research data for commercial purposes. This effort is solely to advance our understanding about the organizations and practice of residential care for survivors.


If you are unable to complete the survey online and prefer to respond via paper, you may download the PDF version of the survey (52 pages). Your completed survey must be mailed to: The Institute for Shelter Care, 602 S. Chapel Gate Lane, Baltimore, Maryland 21229 before 25 January 2019.


All surveys must be submitted by 25 January 2019. Each agency that submits a completed survey will receive:

  • agency mention in the report as having participated. Copies of the report will be issued to federal and state officials, academic institutions, foundations and philanthropists.
  • a complimentary print copy of the final report, before it is available to the public
  • full permission to quote the data in the report to support your shelter’s efforts

For all others, the final report will be available for purchase here (in print format only) after March 15, 2019. The digital version of the report will not be released until October 2019.

If you have any questions, please email the survey team at

Alliance Referral System Analysis – 2018

In spring 2018, the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance launched a service called the Alliance Referral System (ARS). This service was in response to the realization that most survivor referrals were coming to shelter agencies through interpersonal channels, and referring agencies could not keep up with what shelters were available.

The Alliance Referral System allows a referring agency to complete a single, non-identifying form for a survivor candidate and send it to the Institute. The form is reviewed for completeness and then forwarded to our database of shelter agencies based on the needs of the candidate.

This analysis will summarize the sources of survivor referrals, the aggregate profile of candidates, and endeavor to determine how efficiently the survivor was placed into a qualified shelter program.

We anticipate release of this report by 15 January 2019.