SAFE seeks foster families for trafficking survivorsWritten by The SAFE Alliance
Specialized foster parents are everyday people who have room in their hearts and homes to take in a child in need of safety and caring. Can you imagine anything more rewarding than changing the path of child who has lived a life of violence and abuse?
SAFE is looking for families ready to provide a home to youth who have been trafficked for sex. But right now, we’re struggling to find homes to fill this important gap for this vulnerable population.
We don’t just need foster parents, we need specialized foster parents
Specialized foster parents are trained to help a child who come from a hard background — in this case, children who have survived sex trafficking. SAFE’s specialized foster services, which are part of the SAFE CARES and Foster and Adopt in Austin programs, will provide survivors with access to a wide array of therapeutic services. Additionally, a case manager and placement specialist will help survivors with the transition to stabilization.
We train specialized foster parents in trauma-informed parenting, the cycles of abusive behaviors, as well as the basics that any foster parent must have.
For many survivors, seeking support is difficult as a result of lingering trauma. With guidance from the foster parents and case manager, we hope to reduce those barriers to help survivors become self-sufficient.
Last year in Texas, there were approximately 79,000 youth commercially and sexually exploited. The Department of Justice estimates the most recent age for entry into the United States sex industry is 12-14 years old. These children are the youth who need safe homes and families that want to be there for them.
Being a specialized foster parent does not mean getting involved to fix a broken system. It does not mean you have everything you could possibly need to care for the child.
It means you have it in your heart to engage and help protect the most vulnerable youth in our community. This is an area where your motivations are more powerful than anything else. Families that choose to be a part of this are families that will help young survivors begin the journey toward healing.
What you can do
If you think you may be able to offer your home or if you’d like to know more, contact Foster & Adopt recruiter Tifarah Quinters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can register for an upcoming foster orientation here. If you know someone who may be interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please spread the word.