Screening & Identification

North Dakota relies on the Alabama Beams Screening Tool for sex and labor trafficking identification of child/adolescents and adults. This tool is supported by the NDHTTF and is the encouraged tool for use in the state.
Alabama Beams Assessment Tool
Indicators of human trafficking, exploitation, and CSAM vary, and there are several types of tools utilized to identify and assess suspected and confirmed victims. Agencies can determine what tools they want to implement for ongoing identification, screening, and assessment.

Below is how the NDHTTF defines each of these tools:

Identification tools are typically checklists of potential red flags and risk factors associated with a suspected human trafficking victim. These checklists are quick and can be done mostly through observation and historical information regarding a potential victim. North Dakota relies on the Alabama Beams Screening Tool for sex and labor trafficking identification of child/adolescents and adults.  This tool is supported by the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force and is the encouraged tool for use in the state.

Once it is determined that a suspected victim has been identified using the Alabama Beams Screening Tool, agencies can determine if screening is the next step in recognizing individuals with indicators of trafficking. Screening helps to determine if suspected individuals meet qualifications to obtain programmatic services. Screening includes a short questionnaire regarding their victimization, and should be followed by a comprehensive assessment if victims opt into services. Screening is completed to understand the full scope of the needs and circumstances experienced by that potential victim. Screening is completed per victim’s consent and at their pace. Screening and assessment completion is determined by victims and their comfort and readiness to disclose the information. Services are not declined to victims who are not ready to disclose this information.

In Steven Hassan’s research on cults, he published four types of control seen within the dynamics of human trafficking. These areas of control can also serve as a tool to identify potential human trafficking.

Steven Hassan’s BITE Model of Authoritarian Control – Freedom of Mind Resource Center

An assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a victim’s strengths, needs, and experiences. The results are utilized to inform treatment and programmatic needs, level of safety/risk, mental health needs, MDT planning and discussion, and/or other interventions and supports.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a validated tool supported by North Dakota.

The Polaris Project in partnership with NHTRC have a downloadable tool for the assessment of victims and survivors:
Comprehensive Human Trafficking Assessment Tool | National Human Trafficking Hotline

For training and information on human trafficking in North Dakota, access this free training program:
ND Trafficking Training 201 – Human Trafficking and Complex Trauma 201 Training (

Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI)

While completing any of the above tools to identify and assess human trafficking, MDTs must use a PCTI approach. PCTI is addressed in Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue.

Victims and survivors are at the center of their care. Their answers, or lack thereof, are to be respected by MDT members. MDTs should have an understanding of trauma and the potential for barriers to exist for victims accessing or being receptive to services. Victims and survivors are to be in a safe, supportive environment and asked for consent for MDT members to conduct any screenings or assessment, and will adhere to the timeline of the victim for completing and documenting the results.

Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs)

As defined in the Human Trafficking Overview, the MDT brings together all disciplines involved in a human trafficking or CSAM case and enhances coordination, is person-centered, and aims to reduce the risk of re-victimization. These teams may include human trafficking navigators, law enforcement, prosecution/legal supports, child and adolescent protective services, child and adolescent and adolescent services, mental health/substance abuse providers, victim advocacy and mentors, medical care, tribal partners for Native survivors, juvenile services, and probationary services. Teams are comprised of partner agencies/disciplines who have devoted an employee to human trafficking MDTs and ongoing training/expertise. Additional team members are specific to each victim/survivor’s current services and identified needs, therefore each MDT contains a combination of survivor-specific services as well as those partnering agencies engaged in each region to ensure a wraparound approach is utilized.

For multi-disciplinary team (MDT) members seeking specific protocols and information for your community, please reach out to your regional navigator or to obtain the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force Protocol Toolkit and your local MDT’s information.

Wrap Around Services with MDTs

Wrap Around Services

Are you feeling affected by your caseload, the workplace, or reviewing this toolkit?
Click here for additional support and resources:
For Families | Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Dakota (

Next Section:

Interviews and Investigations