Deborah Gibbs has been leading research in human trafficking within the United States since 2009, with an emphasis on trafficking of children and youth. Her expertise includes statistical analysis of program data, program evaluation and measuring outcomes for programs serving victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Ms. Gibbs currently leads a comprehensive assessment of human trafficking and the child welfare population and is the lead author of a recently released Report to Congress on the child welfare system’s response to the sex trafficking of children. Her current work includes ongoing analyses of state child welfare data that includes more than 6,000 investigated allegations of human trafficking victimization, focusing on the number and characteristics of trafficking victims, labor trafficking of children, trafficking victimization associated with runaway behavior, and juvenile justice involvement. In addition, she has led evaluations of comprehensive service programs serving both adult and minor victims of human trafficking and is currently developing and testing evaluation instruments to measure outcomes of these programs.
Ms. Gibbs’ human trafficking research has been funded by the Administration for Children and Families and the Department of Justice National Institute for Justice. She has presented on topics related to human trafficking to audiences including researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Her human trafficking research has been published in Children and Youth Services Review and the Journal of Human Trafficking.