Finding a Path to Recovery: Residential Facilities for Minor Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking. Summary

Minor victims of domestic sex trafficking are frequently in need of services, including out-of-home placement. Providers and law enforcement across multiple cities are advocating for more options for residential facilities in which these girls can receive support, comprehensive services, and a start on the path to recovery. But there is a great need across all sectors of society to recognize that minors exploited as prostitutes by a pimp meet the statutory definition of a minor victim of sex trafficking and therefore deserve the humanitarian protections called for under Federal statutes. This change in paradigm is made more difficult, however, by the historical treatment of prostitution and prostitutes as a criminal matter, and the denial of minor victims themselves that they are victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Providers and law enforcement agree that there is not a one size fits all model to serving domestically sex-trafficked girls. Different levels of care and different types of care are needed to ensure long-term stability and exit. However, as presented here, those few programs that are currently providing tailored services for this population identify certain common components or elements that show promise of being effective. At a minimum, it is suggested that these programs need to be safe, trauma informed, population specific, and adequately funded. Furthermore, programs currently housing domestically sex-trafficked girls, such as runaway and homeless youth shelters, detention facilities, and group homes, need additional training and access to appropriate resources to better serve this population. It was stressed that the future safety and stability of this vulnerable population of girls rests on our ability to provide a home in which they can recover from the trauma of their trafficking situation and be given a chance at a new life free from exploitation.

The issue briefs in this series and the final study report can be downloaded from the following Web sites:

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/HumanTrafficking/  or   http://www.icfi.com/markets/social-programs/

 

Residential Facilities for Minor Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking

Program: Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) Transition to Independent Living (TIL)

Description: Founded in 1999 by Rachel Lloyd, a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, GEMS seeks to prevent sexual exploitation among adolescent girls, assist girls in exiting prostitution, and support girls as they rebuild and stabilize their lives.

Location: New York City

Population Served: Girls ages 1621

Length of Stay: Up to 18 months

Number of Beds: 9

Services Provided: Basic needs, case management, counseling, medical screening, education, life skills and job training

Operating Costs: $500,000 annually or approximately $55,000/resident

Contact: Rachel Lloyd, Rachel@gemsgirls.org

Program: Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Safe House

Description: Founded in 1992 by Norma Hotaling, a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, SAGE provides trauma and addiction recovery services to young women who have been sexually exploited.

Location: San Francisco

Population Served: Girls ages 1217

Length of Stay: Up to their 18th birthday

Number of Beds: 6

Services Provided: Basic needs, case management, counseling, medical screening, education, life skills and job training

Operating Costs: Approximately $64,000 annually per resident

Contact: Norma Hotaling, NormaH@sagesf.org

Program: Children of the Night

Description: Founded in 1979 by Lois Lee, Children of the Night operates a residential facility serving boys, girls, and transgender individuals who have been exploited through prostitution.

Location: Van Nuys, California

Population Served: Boys, girls, transgender girls, and gay-identified boys ages 1117

Length of Stay: Up to their 18th birthday; alumni organization serves youth over the age of 18

Number of Beds: 24

Services Provided: Basic needs, case management, counseling, medical screening, onsite education, life skills and job training, family reunification

Operating Costs: Approximately $2 million annually (includes outreach services)

Contact: Lois Lee, LLee@childrenofthenight.org

Program: Angelas House

Description: Established in 2001, Angelas House is a collaborative effort between the Juvenile Justice Fund and Inner Harbour, a psychiatric residential treatment facility for minors

Location: Rural community outside Atlanta

Population Served: Girls ages 1217

Length of Stay: 36 months (exceptions for longer stays allowed)

Number of Beds: 6

Services Provided: Basic needs, case management, counseling, chemical dependency treatment, medical screening, onsite education, life skills and job training, family reunification

Operating Costs: Not available

Contact: Kaffie McCullough, Kaffie.McCullough@fultoncountyga.gov

 

How to Obtain a Printed Copy

To obtain a printed copy of this report, send the title and your mailing information to:

Human Services Policy, Room 404E
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Fax:  (202) 690-6562

 

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