FLITE Center wins contract to expand Open Doors Outreach Network services
Voices for Florida announced that FLITE Center was awarded a contract to provide Open Doors Outreach Network services to sex trafficked children and young adults ages 10 – 24 in the Treasure and Gold Coast Florida region. FLITE Center anticipates it will begin accepting referrals this month to provide Open Doors services in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Broward County consistently leads the state in reports of verified child sex trafficking victims.
Voices for Florida’s Open Doors Outreach Network is the state’s leading 24/7/365 network for helping sex trafficked children and young adults. Victims are supported by a team of professionals, including Survivor-Mentors, Regional Advocates, Clinicians, and Victim Services Coordinators that work together to provide emergency stabilization, individualized wellness plans, ongoing support and more to help victims heal.
Over 1,300 Victims Have Received Open Doors Outreach Network Services
“The Open Doors Outreach Network has seen firsthand that many sex trafficking victims have experience in the child welfare system,” said Deborah Foote, Voices for Florida President. “With a proven track record of helping foster care youth navigate their next steps, the FLITE Center will undoubtedly be a huge asset to our growing network.”
Open Doors Outreach Network services are available in four other Florida regions: Big Bend, Northeast Florida, Southeast Florida and Suncoast. Since 2017, over 1,300 sex trafficked child and young adult victims have been served by the Open Doors Outreach Network.
“FLITE Center is consistently identifying trafficking victims among the foster youth population we serve. We look forward to expanding care to these victims through the Open Doors Outreach Network approach,” said Christine M. Frederick, CEO of FLITE Center.
All Children are Vulnerable
Florida is a hot spot for human trafficking, ranking third in the nation for reports to the National Human Hotline. There were 896 reports of human trafficking in Florida to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2019, the latest statistics available. Most of the reports (640) were for sex trafficking and 172 reports involved minors. In 2019 there were 48 verified child sex trafficking victims in Broward County, 14 in Palm Beach County and 8 in St Lucie County. Broward County consistently ranks in the top 5 of counties for prevalence of verified victims.
“Sex trafficking has a devastating impact on our community. Once victims are identified, there is a long road of trauma recovery ahead. We are looking forward to having the Open Doors Outreach Network as a resource to support local sex trafficked children and young adults on their journey to well-being,” said Christine M. Frederick, CEO of FLITE Center.
The average age of a child sex trafficking victim is just 12-14. Both boys and girls are victimized. All children are vulnerable, but foster children, runaways and homeless youth are especially at risk.