Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $450,000)
The FY 2019 Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Category 1 supports efforts of eligible applicant organizations to increase the availability of direct support services for children and youth who are victims of sexual exploitation/domestic sex trafficking (SE/DST), develop or enhance their mentoring capacity, and facilitate outreach efforts to identify these youth. Under this category, OJJDP expects successful applicants to provide mentoring and other needed support services to these youth, develop or enhance mentoring service models and mentor training based on best practices to focus on the needs of youth who are at risk for or are victims of SE/DST, and develop or update strategies to recruit and maintain mentors to serve these youth. This program is authorized by Pub. L. No. 1166, 133 Stat. 13, 115; Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
Covenant House Alaska (CHA) serves the Municipality of Anchorage, the targeted geographic region for this project. Runaway and homeless youth in Anchorage face a perfect storm of extreme social, environmental, and economic conditions that put them at a high risk for sexual exploitation/domestic sex trafficking (SE/DST), physical/mental harm, and ongoing homelessness, and this youth population in Anchorage is disproportionately Alaska Native. Research indicates that youth victims of SE/DST tend to have histories of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, abuse and/or neglect, domestic violence, and homelessness. Unfortunately, Alaska leads the nation in domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape and child abuse. The goal of this Category 1 Trafficking Navigator project is to provide mentoring and other direct support services that focus on the needs of youth who are at risk for or are victims of SE/DST.
CHA anticipates serving 20 minor victims of SE/DST per year, for a total of 60 over the 36 months of this project period through the following activities: 1) Hire a Trafficking Navigator (1.0 FTE) to develop and provide access to comprehensive, supportive direct services for 60 youth ages 13 to 17 who are at risk for or are victims of SE/DST; 2) Contract with Priceless to modify their mentoring model and take advantage of their trainings to create and implement an age-appropriate mentoring program for child and youth victims of SE/DST, and recruit and train an estimated 120 adult mentors; 3) Work informally with other service providers (e.g., AJNC, Cook Inlet Tribal Council) to offer a broad range of services to assist Alaska Native youth victims of SE/DST, and to improve community coordinated response in key locations (e.g., Anchorages seven designated qualified opportunity zones); and 4) Deepen the communitys capacity to track and facilitate immediate case management between agencies, including referrals and data sharing. The projects deliverables include a new mentorship framework that incorporates evidence-based practices; an estimated 120 trained mentors; and a comprehensive, age-appropriate and culturally responsive service model.