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Preventing and Addressing SE/DST Along The U.S. Mexico Border: Evidenced Based Mentoring Services through Collaboration

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $441,401)

The FY 2019 Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Category 3 supports the efforts of eligible applicant organizations to increase the availability of programs focusing on girls involved in the juvenile justice system and prevention and early intervention strategies for girls vulnerable to sexual exploitation/domestic sex trafficking (SE/DST) and who are most likely to end up in the juvenile justice system. Under this category, OJJDP expects successful applicants to implement prevention and early intervention programs based upon best practices for girls vulnerable to becoming victims of SE/DST who are currently in the juvenile justice system; to provide direct support services and mentoring services to girls at risk of becoming victims of SE/DST; and to develop or enhance reentry strategies to help vulnerable girls on a path toward success, stability, and long-term contribution to society. This program is authorized by 34 U.S.C. 11171–11172; Pub. L. No. 116–6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso (BBBSEP) and its partnering organizations of the Paso del Norte Center of Hope (PDNCOH), County of El Paso Juvenile Probation Department (JPD), El Paso Center for Children, and several anti-trafficking community partners will integrate the BBBSEP evidence-based mentoring program into JPD’s new efforts to identify and enhance prevention services for females who screened positive for SE/DST. The purpose of the program is to increase mentoring and supportive services to prevent sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking (SE/DST)/juvenile justice involvement of girls in the community-at-large in El Paso, Texas. With approximately 40 to 50 females identified each year in the JPD system as vulnerable to SE/DST and an additional 25 on the BBBSEP waiting list, early intervention is paramount with the increased presence of trafficking activity. BBBSEP anticipates that by the end of the three-year project period 120 females, ages 9 to 16, will be supported with a mentor for up to 12 months, events/activities, and parental engagement; the most at-risk will be provided trauma-informed mental health services via the El Paso Center for Children through leveraged state and federal resources; and those that are showing significant concern for involvement in SE/DST will receive direct services (e.g. court advocacy) through PDNCOH. Progress will be tracked through the BBSEP evidence-based mentoring tools of the Youth Outcomes Survey, the Strength of Relationship Survey, the Child Outcome Survey, as well as pre- and post-test evaluations to gauge increased knowledge of SE/DST among participating mentors and parents. JPD will initially screen youth leveraging the Commercially Sexually Exploited Identification Tool, The Positive Achievement Change Tool Pre-screen risk assessment, and the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument 2. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 28, 2019