The Florida Center for Children and Youth Inc

aka Voices for Florida's Children   |   TALLAHASSEE, FL   |  www.voicesforflorida.org

Mission

Voices for Florida Mission Statement: Our mission is to create the change for complex social problems through innovation, translational research and cross-sector collaboration. Note that this funding request will support Voices work to address the complex problem of the lack of available service and lack of coordination of services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and sex trafficking in Collier County. The innovation that Voices has brought forward to address this complex problem is the Open Doors Outreach Network which is detailed throughout this application.

Ruling year info

1975

Principal Officer

Linda Alexionok

Main address

111 S MAGNOLIA DR STE 4

TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301 USA

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EIN

59-1710785

NTEE code info

Victims' Services (P62)

dren's Rights (Rhi)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (W12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Open Doors Outreach Network

Voices for Florida (Voices) serves as the backbone
organization for the Open Doors Outreach Network (ODON), serving victims of
commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and sex trafficking age 10-24 in 32
Florida counties, including Collier County. Voices partners with Network
Providers to provide services to victims. In Collier County, the Network Provider
is One More Child. The goal of ODON is to coordinate and standardize
trauma-competent and survivor-centered care to victims identified in the
community. ODON teams, consisting of Survivor-Mentors, Regional Advocates and
Clinicians, are available 24/7/365 to serve victims in Collier County.

Population(s) Served

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goal of the Open Doors Outreach Network (ODON) is to provide high-quality, trauma-competent and survivor-centered care to all victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and sex trafficking age 10-24 identified in Collier County. The ultimate goal for impact is that all victims referred to ODON receive the necessary services to guide them through their personal path to well-being. ODON Teams provide services to victims that emphasize that they are no longer victimized and instead are coping with complex trauma while becoming a strong and healthy survivor. ODON Teams are highly trained and well-equipped to help overcome many elements of complex trauma due to their trafficking experience, including PTSD, anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders; substance abuse and addiction; and more. In addition, ODON Teams are able to match victims with in-kind support including legal services, job-readiness training, transportation to medical facilities and more. This ultimate goal for impact will be achieved through goals previously identified (in the “Impact” section under “Statements and Search Criteria”), including increased community awareness on the needs of the victim population; increased engagement with the community to result in greater identification of victims; and increased funding to support high quality services and individualized needs of victims to assist their healing. We expect these goals to be achieved on an ongoing basis as Voices and the ODON Teams are continuously meeting with community stakeholders to increase community awareness, engagement and resource identification. Voices’ goal is to generate high-level community-based awareness and access to ODON services to support all sex trafficking victims in Collier County within the next 3-5 years. Unless victims are identified from members of their community and referred to services, they will never have the opportunity to heal. Common stakeholder groups that have an opportunity to identify victims include law enforcement, state agencies (Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health), medical services, schools, faith-based organizations and other service providers. Education must take place among these groups in order for them to successfully identify and support the needs of victims, many of which are individuals who do not realize they are being exploited or do not fit common descriptions of trafficking victims. Through the public education efforts of the Open Doors Outreach Network, Collier County is in a position to better identify victims and refer them to high quality services. The referral process is quick and easy, as there is a 24/7/365 hotline to call and a team of highly-trained individuals prepared to immediately provide wrap-around services to this individual and support them on their pathway to well-being. The desired social change for Collier County would be for the community to better understand what sex trafficking looks like, refer to the Open Doors Outreach Network for services when appropriate and for the victims to receive services that meet their needs on their pathway to recovery. The target population for the Open Doors Outreach Network is any victim, regardless of age, race, religion, disability or sex, between the ages of 10-24, that is either suspected to be sex trafficked, or verified as a victim of sex trafficking. It is expected that an outcome of the desired goal is that it would appear that the prevalence of sex trafficking is increasing in Collier County. Research and subject matter experts have often stated that we are simply scratching the surface in identification of victims of sex trafficking throughout Florida. Therefore, although there will be more victims identified, the prevalence of trafficking would not be increasing. Rather, there would more victims in need, many of which have been trafficked in the community for years, who would finally begin receiving services unique to their individual needs.

Through the Open Doors Outreach Network (ODON), Voices for Florida seeks to increase the number of sex trafficking victims identified and served; to provide high quality, trauma-competent and survivor-centered services to victims referred to ODON; to increase awareness of the role community members can play in identifying and supporting victims of sex trafficking; and to establish relationships to further leverage community resources and create opportunities for growth and healing for victims through ODON. To do this, we employ the following strategies:Set Consistent Service Delivery Protocols and Standards: As the backbone organization for this innovation, Voices establishes consistent service delivery protocols for all Network Providers serving in ODON. Voices utilizes evidence-based research and promising best practices from across the country to develop standards and protocols for service delivery. Training & education is provided continually by Voices to ODON Providers to ensure they are providing the highest level of care to victims upon identification. The Florida State University Center for Information Management and Educational Services (CIMES) also conducted a developmental evaluation of ODON. As findings are determined through the evaluation, they are implemented within all service counties, including Collier County, to ensure the services provided to victims of sex trafficking are meeting their unique and individual needs.Foster Collaboration/Community Partnerships: Voices believes that a single organization or entity cannot create change for a vulnerable population such as victims of sex trafficking. Instead, many different stakeholders and organizations have something to bring to the table to meet the complex needs of this population. This is why Voices became the backbone organization for ODON, partnering with a variety of organizations across the state to serve as Network Providers, including One More Child in Collier County. Additionally, the ODON Teams are tasked with partnering with as many organizations as possible in the community to leverage community resources to meet the needs of victims. There is a specific position on the ODON Team to serve as community liaisons, the Regional Advocates. Their two primary roles are to build partnerships in Collier County to understand the landscape of services and resources available, and to educate the community on sex trafficking in order to increase identification of victims. They achieve this by holding meetings and giving presentations to audiences able to assist with identification (such as teachers, medical professionals, local taskforces, etc.).Coordinative Services and Fill Gaps: ODON does not aim to replicate services that already exist in the community. Rather, ODON seeks to fill gaps in services in the community and meet an un-met need serving victims of sex trafficking. In Collier County, ODON plays two primary roles. 1. ODON provides 24/7/365 care and community referral services to meet the individual needs of sex trafficking victims. 2. ODON educates the community on the needs and warning signs of children and young adults who are victimized, and increase identification and the number of victims receiving services.Leverage and Mobilize Resources: In order to serve all victims of sex trafficking age 10-24 in Collier County, Voices for Florida leverages various funding sources. This includes state general revenue, federal funds, private donations and local foundations. This funding is then allocated to ODON Providers based on the size of the Teams providing services.Voices for Florida and ODON have utilized the strategies identified above since July 2017 when the ODON pilot program first launched. Since launching services in 32 counties across the state, ODON has served 774 victims. Therefore, we believe that these strategies will result in continual success in the identification and service to victims in Collier County.

Voices for Florida (Voices) and the Open Doors Outreach Network (ODON) are successfully providing services to victims in 32 counties, including Collier County. Since launching services in July 2017, we have quickly exceeded the expectations of our funders regarding the number of victims that we would identify and serve in the community. The success we have generated has been possible due to partnerships that have been built across the state. Key partnerships at a state level include the Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health, Department of Education, Office of Attorney General, Statewide Council on Human Trafficking and the Florida Legislature. Locally in each community, the ODON teams work closely to build relationships with any and all community stakeholders, partners and organizations that come into contact with victims served through the program. These include schools, law enforcement, the judiciary system, community based nonprofits, local human trafficking task forces among others. Local community partnerships within Collier County include Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Christy’s Cause, First Baptist Church Naples, Millennium Physicians Group and Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, just to name a few.

Serving as the backbone organization for ODON, Voices has many internal resources to achieve our goals for the program. This includes an over 40-year history of bringing forward innovative programming solutions throughout Florida. Additionally, the staff of Voices maintains expertise in fiscal management, training and education, external communication strategies and subject matter expertise at a Master’s level or above. Voices partners with a variety of subject matter experts through contractual relationships when the expertise needed is not available within existing staff in the organization. Primarily, these experts are identified through Florida State University and other universities across Florida. The Voices for Florida Board of Directors also brings a wide sphere of influence across the state, specializing in finance and accounting, advocacy and the Florida legislature, education at the university level and more.One More Child was selected to serve Collier County and Southwest FL as the ODON Provider due to their history and abilities serving underprivileged children, including victims of sex trafficking. One More Child also serves as the ODON provider for Central FL region, and had a proven record prior to being selected to serve Collier County. Additionally, their Executive Director of Anti-Trafficking is a survivor of childhood sex trafficking. Her lived experiences have been an invaluable benefit to the services provided through ODON. One More Child (under their former name: Florida Baptist Children’s Homes) also opened the first Department of Children and Families certified safe home for female victims of sex trafficking in 2014. Therefore, they have been closely serving this population, and have a proven track record of doing so, for 5 years. Moving forward, the ODON Team will continue to develop and maintain relationships in the community that will strengthen their ability to serve victims of sex trafficking. These relationships are pivotal to identifying victims in need of services, and to connect them to appropriate resources and services to meet their individual needs. ODON is in a unique position to successfully serve victims in Collier County, since there are very few organizations equipped to serve this population. Additionally, the ODON Team in Collier County is a part of a much larger Network, and benefit from relationships that have already been built in 31 others counties. These partnerships can be leveraged to support victims as needed.

Immediately after establishing ODON services in Collier County, the ODON Team was invited to participate in community alliance meetings. These meetings have been crucial in increasing public awareness and developing community relationships with law enforcement, dependency judges, leaders of community based care organizations, Guardian ad Litem circuit directors, case managers, school district members and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) attorneys. Most notably, the ODON Team has presented to Children’s Advocacy Center, the Collier County Sheriff Department and GAL volunteers. These presentations have resulted in an increase amount of identification of victims and referrals to ODON. On another note, Sgt. Wade Williams went on to receive the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award at the 2019 Human Trafficking Summit in September after becoming educated about the issue through ODON. While ODON Teams have developed these critical community partnerships, they have simultaneously built credibility with dependency system and the local Department of Children and Families (DCF). As a result, when local DCF receives a suspected or verified victim of CSE and/or sex trafficking, the ODON referral hotline is the first number they call.  An additional success of the program in Collier County is that services were launched, and 8 victims to date have begun receiving in-depth services in the community. As mentioned previously, it is believed that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more victims in need of services in the community. These accomplishments are propelling OMC, as the ODON provider for Collier County, towards their ultimate goal of serving all victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and sex trafficking age 10-24 in the community. The main obstacle the ODON Team in Collier County is facing is the lack of recognition that there is sex trafficking and victims in desperate need of survivor-centered, trauma-competent care within their community. Collier County has highly affluent areas and a false sense of protection against this egregious crime. The ODON Team in Collier County is overcoming this false narrative by providing data-driven presentations demonstrating the continued need for specialized services for victims of sex trafficking in their community. Since launching services in Collier County, the ODON team has recognized that there is a very large need for community education on the warning signs of sex trafficking, to increase identification of victims. Until additional stakeholder groups are better educated on warning signs, this will serve as a road block in the ODON teams’ ability to begin serving victims in Collier County. Assuming the community and those serving at-risk children are knowledgeable about sex trafficking will not advance the programs’ mission to provide services to those in need. In the Southwest FL region, including Lee, Collier and Charlotte County, a total of 81 victims have received services through ODON. Considering only 8 of these individuals reside in Collier County, it has been realized that greater public awareness and community education is needed on warning signs of sex trafficking, in order to meet the needs of those that are most vulnerable, residing in the community.

Financials

The Florida Center for Children and Youth Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The Florida Center for Children and Youth Inc

Board of directors
as of 11/05/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Robert Bradley

Robert Bradley

Vice President for Planning & Programs at Askew School of Public Administration, Florida State University

Katrina Tuggerson

Director of Financial Empowerment and Community Development Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union

Clint Weber

Senior Vice President Prime Meridian Bank

Cathy Craig-Myers

Retired, former Chief Executive Officer of Florida Juvenile Justice Association

Ronald Joe

Retired Commandant of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

Lenita Joe

Retired educator

Richard Herring

Attorney, Former Special Counsel to the Florida Senate

Tim Sadberry

Former Director of the Fl. Civil and Criminal Justice Appropriations subcommittee