Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $450,000)
This project supports efforts of local communities and organizations to develop or enhance their mentoring capacity, facilitate outreach to child victims or youth at risk (17 years old or younger) of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking, and increasing the availability of direct services to these youth. The population to be served is girls and boys, including LGBTQ youth who are at risk or are victims of CSE and DST. The grantees will develop or update strategies to recruit and maintain mentors to serve this population; begin or enhance efforts to identify and enroll girls and boys, including LGBTQ youth who are in need of services; and provide needed services to these youth. Grantees will join current and previously funded grantees and work with OJJDP's training and technical assistance provider to develop or enhance mentoring service models and mentor training based on best practices.
The Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) will combat the high rates of child victims of CSE/DST and lack of specialized services in New York City by increasing the availability of effective, survivor-informed services, and increasing the number of child victims becoming free from CSE/DST and developing to their full potential. This will be accomplished through the following objectives: (1) increasing awareness of CSE/DST of at-risk youth and increasing identification of victims; 2) partnering with another organization, Community Connections for Youth (CCFY), to provide services to males and transgender child victims of CSE/DST; 3) developing transformational relationships between staff, survivor mentors and child victims of CSE/DST through one-on-one and group mentoring; 4) enhancing direct services to child victims of CSE/DST, including court advocacy, case management and educational support; and 5) increasing staffs ability to provide empowerment and mentoring programming to child victims of CSE/DST. These objectives will be achieved by increasing the applicants capacity to implement its existing trauma-informed, survivor leadership and empowerment model of service delivery for child victims of CSE/DST, and cross-training with CCFY to adapt GEMS model to their populations. GEMS anticipates that by implementing this comprehensive mentoring project an increased number of child victims will become free from CSE/DST, increase or maintain healthy social support, and obtain (or be on track to obtain) their high school diplomas or GEDs. GEMS also anticipates that by increasing the knowledge of CCFY staff, its survivor leadership and empowerment model will be adapted to reach more male and transgender child victims of CSE/DST. CA/NCF
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