Project Safe Home
Young people served by the child welfare system in North Carolina and the United States are at higher risk of sexual exploitation. This is due to their increased risk factors. Crossnore and Youth Villages currently serve this population of young people (i.e., children in foster care). These two organizations are uniquely positioned to mitigate the risk factors causing a young person to be exploited. Project Safe Home will create a continuum of services to protect young people. These services will help heal past trauma and prevent future harm or risk from commercial exploitation.
Crossnore and Youth Villages both provide various community-based services to help keep a family together and prevent them from becoming involved in the child welfare system. If a young person can be safely maintained in their home, in-home family preservation services are focused on strengthening a family’s internal protective factors and teaching them to care for and protect their child in their homes and communities. This is the best first step in serving young people and mitigating risk of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE). This step prevents further trauma and develops skills to allow for long-term sustainability and stability of the family unit. Components of Project Safe Home allow for a home-like environment while also providing the necessary protective factors this population deserves.
Protective factors for a young person include:
- The presence of a stable adult figure and a close positive bond with at least one caring adult
- A strong support network, including positive friendships
- Job training and employment opportunities
- Positive performance in school
- Structure in the home and parental supervision
- Strong communication skills for caregivers, families, and youth
- The allowance for young people to “make mistakes” while receiving both consequences and love and care concurrently
- A sense of mastery with arts, athletics and extracurricular activities
- A solid and realistic plan for the future