Protected Innocence Challenge: Combating Child Sex Trafficking
Since 2011, Shared Hope International, an NGO dedicated to eradicating child sex trafficking, has released an annual report card assessing steps taken by each state to combat this issue. In the seven years since this programs inception there have been improvements across the board in terms of legislation to both protect child victims and prosecute perpetrators of sex trafficking of minors. This year Florida has received an A, with perfect scores in four of the six categories. According to Shared Hope International there is still room for improvement in terms of criminal provisions addressing demand and criminal provisions for facilitators. Despite Florida’s success in enacting laws protecting victims, there are still 31 states in which child victims can still be prosecuted for sex crimes.
Giving Every Child a Monthly Check for an Even Start
Inefficient spending has left the United States with one of the highest
3 TVs and No Food: Growing Up Poor in America
New York Time’s journalist Nicholas Kristoff does a great job illustrating our nation’s unsettling inequalities when it comes to income, wealth, education, and ultimately, opportunity. Robert Putnam, who the New York Time’s refers to as a “laureate poet of civil society”, wrote his critically acclaimed book “Our Kids,” about these same inequalities (the book itself poised as an instant-classic and was well regarded by liberals and conservatives alike) . What is most striking, and highlighted by both Kristoff and Putnam, is that as a nation we’re not facing just an income or opportunity gap, but a widening gap. Kristoff laments “what many Americans don’t understand about poverty is that it’s perhaps less about a lack of money than not seeing any path out.” Today, in the United States, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Today, in the United States, the cycle of poverty is being perpetuated and worsening and there’s little to nothing being done to stop it. Read More
Adults, Agencies Failed Alyssa Beck
Growing up in Jacksonville, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking. Now 21, she courageously speaks about her victimization and how much of what she experienced could have been prevented had the government seen her as a victim, instead of as a criminal. With the Florida’s Safe Harbor Law now in place and VFF’s own Open Doors Network starting next year, the chances of another Alyssa Beck are shrinking as victims are being connected with the services they truly need and are being seen as the victims they really are. Read More
Just 21, Human-Trafficking Survivor Alyssa Beck has Lived a Life Most Cannot Imagine
Before she was 15, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking, and before she was 21, she had spent nearly three years in jail. In this article, Alyssa’s history with trafficking, the Juvenile Justice system and treatment is examined in-depth, as is her recovery and growth into the strong advocate for victims of human trafficking she is today. Read More
US Concentrated Poverty in the Wake of the Great RecessionIn spite of the declining unemployment rate, the amount of people living under the federal poverty line in the United States continues to remain stuck at recession-era record levels even though the recession ended in 2009. Read the Report
See the Change: Girls’ Juvenile Justice Trends on the First Coast
A new report demonstrates progress for girls in the 4th Judicial Circuit, which used to be considered the harshest district in Florida. Read the Report
Breaking New Ground on the First Coast: Examining Girls’ Pathways into the Juvenile Justice System
Learn research-based findings of what girls in Florida’s Juvenile Justice system say about their pathways in the system. Read the Report
Philanthropy + Venture Capital = A Much Needed Investment Model
In his article, “Saving the World, Start-up Style,” Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money,” proposes that a combination of philanthropy and the venture-capital philosophy of embracing risk, could have significant impact on the poor. This new method of investing could be a welcomed relief for the more than 950,000 or 24% of Florida children living in poverty. Read More
How America is Failing its Youth
A new report by Opportunity Nation, Zeroing In on Place and Race, states that the economic toll of disconnected youth reveals an astonishingly high cost to America’s taxpayers of $26.8 billion in 2013 alone. Approximately one fifth of youth in Florida are neither working nor in school. Read More
Poll Shows American Women Leaving the Workforce
As recently as 1990, the United States had one of the top employment rates in the world for women, but it has now fallen behind many European countries, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll. After climbing for six decades, the percentage of women in the American workforce peaked in 1999, at 74 percent for women between 25 and 54. It has fallen since, to 69 percent today. The percentage of working women in many other countries, however, has continued to climb. Among the countries outranking the United States in prime-age women’s labor force are Switzerland, Australia, Germany France, Britain, Canada, Poland, Portugal, Japan — just to name a few. Read More
At Voices for Florida, we believe that every person really can make a difference, and that every difference made really does matter. It all starts with what you know. Voices for Florida empowers our members with knowledge – well-researched, evidence-based best practices and data on quality-of-life issues that are critical to us and our children’s future.
Sharing is the universal language of human interaction, which brain scientists call the essential ingredient for strengthening social ties and enhancing quality of life. At Voices for Florida, our members gain a sense of unity and common purpose by connecting and sharing high-impact knowledge.
Collaboration is not a spectator sport. Activities that bring people together to engage in collective problem-solving or raise awareness create powerful connections that can last a lifetime and literally change the world. Voices for Florida offers members diverse ways to get engaged and contribute to help build a better future for us all.
Rooted in the Old English word for “bold,” the act of building is inspired and driven by the courage and confidence that the effort will have impact. Simply put, when Voices for Florida members know, share and engage, they collectively drive better outcomes to build strong communities and successful families, creating a better future for our children.