About the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking Project - PACT

PACT Consultant Team

Click to Learn More

Our History

In 2014, the California Department of Social Services contracted with the Child and Family Policy Institute of California (CFPIC) to administer the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking (PACT) Project. It was one of nine federal grants awarded by the Children’s Bureau in the nation. PACT’s original ten-county collaborative platform pioneered a valuable peer network of county child welfare agencies with a shared goal to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and youth at risk of or experiencing human trafficking. The project launched alongside the enactment of SB 855 which clarified that children experiencing commercial sexual exploitation or those forced to trade sex to meet their basic needs should be served through the child welfare system as victims of child abuse and neglect. This landmark legislation funded a CSEC Opt in Program and participating counties were required to develop an interagency protocol for case management, planning, and delivery of services utilizing a multidisciplinary teaming (MDT) approach.

In 2020, PACT expanded to include 45 participating counties and established four regional peer cohorts. The project is currently funded by an allocation from the CDSS Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Program Appropriation.

Our Mission

PACT’s Mission is to engage county child welfare agencies and their multidisciplinary partners as they implement a statewide, integrated, and adaptable model of cross-coordination. Our staff and consultant network provide customized technical assistance, training and linkages. Our approach is rooted in harm reduction and guided through the lens of lived experience.

Survivors of human trafficking have advised on PACT’s  development since its early beginnings. Our PACT Staff and Consultant Team includes diverse members with unique backgrounds and expertise, including those with lived experience.

This assistance strengthens the capacity of  county agencies receiving SB 855 CSEC Program allocations to effectively collaborate; reducing barriers to service delivery.

"The PACT Project has been very helpful in linking counties together for shared information and resources."

— PACT County Coordinator

Our Approach

PACT regional cohorts are an opportunity for child welfare agencies to collectively discover and evaluate best practices. Members gain a valuable network of support, increase cross-county collaboration, and engage in peer learning, as they share in the challenges and successes of program implementation. Our approach is trauma informed, survivor informed, and victim-centered. It is based on a human rights framework which recognizes that human trafficking is a violation of an individual’s basic rights and personal freedom.

"We Believe That Collaboration Makes A Difference!"

Our Team

Melissa Gomez

PACT Project Director, Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Marina, CA

Sarah Johnson

PACT Regional Coordinator (Southern CA Cohort and Bay Area Cohort), Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Long Beach, CA

Jessica Pittman

PACT Regional Coordinator (Central Valley Cohort), Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Fresno, CA

Diana Cisneros

Consultant, Director Hope Rising, CSEC Action Team Consultant, Human Trafficking Trainer and Advocate


Julie DeFranco, MSW

Consultant, CSEC Coordinator, Program Manager, San Luis Obispo County, Department of Social Services

San Luis Obispo, CA

Ummra Hang


Oakland, CA

Jamelia Hinds-Vicks


Fresno, CA

Aja Houle


Sonoma, CA

Jimmy Lopez

Consultant, Survivor Advocate, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Deborah Pembrook

Consultant, Human Trafficking Outreach Manager, Monterey Rape Crisis Center

Monterey, CA

Jess Torres

Consultant, Survivor Leadership Program Manager, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Russell Glenn Wilson

Anti-Trafficking Expert, Consultant, Researcher

Oakland, CA

Angelica Zuniga


Bakersfield, CA

Our Partners

We work closely with our partners and funders at the CDSS Child Trafficking Response Unit (CTRU) and the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA).

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Child Trafficking Response Unit (CTRU) began in November 2014. CTRU administers the Senate Bill 855 voluntary (opt-in) Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program and provides support to child welfare and probation agencies in all 58 counties in California to meet federal and state requirements to screen and assess the needs of children at-risk or victims of CSEC.

The County Welfare Directors Association of California – CWDA – is a nonprofit association representing the human service directors from each of California’s 58 counties. The Association’s mission is to promote a human services system that encourages self-sufficiency of families and communities, and protects vulnerable children and adults from abuse and neglect.

Contact Us


2495 Natomas Park Drive
Suite 120
Sacramento, CA 95833