The Avery Center expands services for sex trafficking survivors in Northern Colorado with funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Avery Center (TAC) has been awarded another federal grant in 2020. This time funding is coming from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The total award amounts to $387,000 per year for up to three years.
Expansion of services
TAC will use the HHS funding to expand upon sex trafficking victim services and community engagement in Northern Colorado. The grant will achieve these goals by providing trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and linguistically appropriate comprehensive care management services, which will include safety and service planning, job training, financial literacy education, mental health therapy and peer support, as well as criminal justice victim advocacy. TAC has been offering many of these services in the community for years. The new funding allows more inclusive services and the hiring of additional team members to expand utilizing the existing framework of programming. TAC has an established network of community partnerships, referral sources, and organizational awareness in Northern Colorado and can efficiently use funds to directly benefit victims and survivors. Another part of the grant will cover community education training for first-responders, transportation professionals, and business communities in Northern Colorado. Director of Research at TAC, Megan Lundstrom says, “Trafficking doesn’t happen in silos and it takes a collaborative effort to identify gaps in systems. We are grateful for the ability to support and empower more survivors through this grant.”
Innovations in digital outreach
Research has shown that many survivors do not identify as such. For this reason, TAC is engaged in innovative outreach efforts in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFICK (STT) in addition to traditional street outreach. Ruth Dearnley, Chief Executive of STT states, "The Avery Center is a wonderful organisation, right at the forefront of the fight against exploitation in the USA. Their approach, research, and commitment to building dedicated partnerships allows us to work together and build innovative projects powered by data and technology. Through global relationships, we can all achieve more than the sum of our parts." Together, TAC and STT are developing social media campaigns that focus on reaching individuals based on the Stages of Change model. These ads consider what kind of messaging is most effective in reaching individuals in various stages of exiting sexual exploitation. The outreach team does not make the assumption that every victim is able to accept help at a particular moment in time or that the same content is effective in reaching everyone. Instead, campaigns are carefully developed with the intention of reaching specific groups.
These programs are supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $387,000 with 35 percent funded by ACF/HHS and $729,000 amount and 65 percent funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.