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.
EAC, Inc. is a community-based non-profit seeking to expand its current mentoring services for its Safe Harbour Program to a minimum of 30 youth who are at risk or are victims of commercial sexual exploitation or domestic sex trafficking. Since 2014, the Safe Harbour Program of Suffolk County has been providing these youth with the support and resources to recognize and break the cycle of sexual exploitation. There has been a significant increase in caseload of these at risk and confirmed trafficked youth, from 5 clients in 2014 to 61 clients in in 2018. In addition, Safe Harbour has increased its outreach and intervention services resulting in 44 at risk and confirmed youth victims in 2015 to 109 youth in 2018.
The projects major activities will include the recruitment, training, and supervision of a minimum of 30 mentors, improving youth educational, vocational, and health knowledge and status, careful documentation of outcomes for mentored youth and satisfaction of the reporting requirements, and enhancing youth knowledge about online and social media safety. Mentees will demonstrate improved academic (evidenced by attendance and grades), behavioral (reduced conflict, improved interpersonal relationships, reduced drug or alcohol use) and life skills (increased preventive healthcare utilization, improved knowledge about personal health, and increased awareness of internet and social media safety) performance. Staff will use Innovative Mentoring Software to track matches and document project performance. EAC Networks Alternatives for Youth Peer Mentoring Project is designed to create mentoring services to at risk adolescents, as well as its Chance to Advance Program, which was generated to create a mentoring program specifically designed for at risk adolescents residing in foster care.