Open Doors Coordinated Services Scheduled to Begin

Voices for Florida is pleased to announce that coordinated services in the Open Doors Outreach Network will begin as early as May 2017 for commercial sexually exploited (CSE) and trafficked children and young adults in five targeted regions across Florida. This critically needed program has been under development for 3 years and its implementation is the result of collaboration among many partners and stakeholders!  Thank you to all who have supported and contributed to this effort.

Through the Open Doors Outreach Network, teams consisting of survivor-mentors, regional advocates and clinicians will work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and community partners at every entry point where exploited and trafficked victims can be identified. The Open Doors teams will stabilize, assess, support and refer victims to immediate and ongoing specialized services in local communities based on individualized, victim centered treatment plans.

Frequently Asked Question: What is a Survivor-mentor?

A unique feature of the Open Doors model is the use of survivor-mentors to build enduring and trusting relationships with victims. Survivor-mentors are survivors of significant trauma, which may include commercial sexual exploitation or other forms of trafficking. The use of survivor-mentors is a promising practice showing significant progress in increasing CSE victims’ access to services and improving outcomes in other states. The Open Doors survivor-mentors will be on-call 24/7/365.

For more information, contact Robyn Metcalf, Voices for Florida Open Doors Statewide Director, at 850-425-2621.

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Anti-Trafficking Advocacy Day a Huge Success

A large crowd turned out for the 2017 Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Day in Tallahassee. Citizens, faith based organizations, agencies, nonprofits, and policymakers came together to raise awareness about human trafficking and victims’ needs. As one of the organizing sponsors, Voices for Florida is especially thankful for the event’s legislative hosts and staff, other sponsors, partners, guest speakers, as well as the organizing efforts of Sara Lynn Ard and many other individuals who gave their time to ensure this event exceeded expectations.

Research Highlight: Most Comprehensive Studies to Date on Trafficking Among Homeless Youth

Recently released studies from two universities (University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research and Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project) are being called “the most comprehensive findings to date” on the prevalence of human trafficking among homeless youth in the United States and Canada. For the first time on a large scale, research underscores the connection between lack of safe places to stay and vulnerability to human trafficking among youth. Nearly one in five (19.4 percent) of homeless youth have been the victims of human trafficking – 15 percent trafficked for sex, 7.4 percent trafficked for labor and 3 percent trafficked for both. The studies involved interviews of 911 homeless youth at Covenant House shelters in 13 cities and three homeless youth programs in Phoenix, AZ. Access Studies

Did You Know?

“Twenty five percent of youth identified by DJJ as victims of human trafficking are males”

̶  DJJ Secretary Christy Daly
Source: HTST implementation data (March 2015-March 2017)

Important Dates

  • August 29-31, 2017
    2017 Child Protection Summit, Orlando, FL
  • October 2, 2017
    Human Trafficking Summit, Location TBA

If you believe you are a victim of or suspect human trafficking, please call:

Florida DCF Abuse Hotline: 1 (800) 962-2873 or National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

 

Open Doors Update is a publication of Voices for Florida. This publication is paid for by private donations to Voices for Florida.

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