Devereux certifies first ‘safe’ foster homes for sexually exploited youth in Central Florida
Advanced Behavioral Health Florida recently announced the certification of two
foster families as “official safe homes” – providing special assistance and
support for sexually exploited youth in Central Florida.
The issue: A recent report from
the National Human Trafficking Hotline ranks Florida third in the nation for
this horrific crime and, globally, the numbers are staggering – an estimated 21
million children, women and men are victims of trafficking and forced labor.*
is the provider of choice nationwide in supporting commercially sexually
exploited youth on their path to healing through trauma-informed,
evidence-based clinical therapies delivered in a caring and compassionate environment.
This certification of identified safe foster homes allows Devereux Florida to take
these services to a new level by conducting state-approved training for foster
parents of this vulnerable population.
DCF relies on Devereux to
recent years, legislation in Florida has evolved to include “safe foster homes”
as an option for survivors of sexual exploitation, in addition to safe houses
and residential treatment centers. The Florida Department of Children and
Families (DCF) named Devereux as one
of two providers in the state authorized to provide the mandated training
required for safe foster home certification.
the end of January, in partnership with the Florida DCF, Devereux certified its
first two “safe foster homes” in Central Florida, which are among the first in
the state. Existing Devereux foster families underwent additional training
to meet the requirements outlined in the Florida statute, and will be provided with ongoing
support by Devereux’s clinical experts in the treatment of sexually exploited
so excited that we have families who have decided this is a path for them, that
they wanted to get trained to have extra knowledge and expertise to take trafficked
youth into their homes and provide a safe foster home,” said Devereux Florida
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Program Director Erin Wirsing in a recent Orlando Sentinel article.
addition to foster parent support, the initiative supports Devereux Florida’s
training for caregivers, clinicians and child welfare professionals regarding
the treatment of sexually exploited youth.
Enhanced support for a vulnerable
has been a four-year initiative, and we are proud to be able to make a
difference with, and provide enhanced support for, this vulnerable population,”
said Devereux Florida Director of External Affairs Lindsey Phillips. “And we couldn’t have done it without the support
of Florida’s lawmakers – particularly Representative Bob Cortes, Representative Jason
Brodeur, Representative Gayle
Harrell and Senator Debbie Mayfield
-- who have dedicated time and resources to support this initiative and address
human trafficking in the state.
significant development in our system of care will pave the way for more
families to become certified as safe foster
making a lasting impact on the lives of the sexually exploited youth in Florida,”
About Devereux’s CSEC program
Devereux’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children program
provides sophisticated treatment for girls and boys across the country, ages
10-21, who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual trauma. These
services – currently available in our Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas
locations – offer individual and group therapy to address the complex traumas
of exploited youth, while also providing a sense of community and reducing
feelings of isolation. Devereux also works with youth to instill skills to
develop healthier lifestyles, improving their ability to safely and
successfully reintegrate into their families and communities.
Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
*Data according to the
UNICEF “End Trafficking Toolkit."
||Matilda Jane Clothing donates more than 5,000 face masks to Devereux’s essential staff
Matilda Jane Clothing is showing support for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s front-line staff by donating colorful and beautifully-crafted face masks. The Indiana-based clothing company recently donated 5,000 fabric face masks to the nonprofit to help team members stay safe and healthy.
||Yvette Jackson discusses Devereux Arizona’s programs and services on Hubbard Radio’s Valley Focus show
Listen as Devereux Arizona Executive Director Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH, discusses the center’s programs and services on Hubbard Radio’s Valley Focus show. Jackson shares valuable information about Devereux Arizona’s therapeutic foster care program and outpatient services, and explains how the organization is supporting individuals and families during COVID-19.
||Like, follow and share Devereux’s new national Facebook page
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Facebook Careers Page has transitioned into our new national Facebook page. In addition to accessing the latest Devereux career opportunities, followers will learn more about what’s happening across all of our centers, programs and services.
||Georgia robotics team creates 3-D printed face shields for Devereux’s front-line staff
Students from a Georgia robotics team, Checkmate Robotics #12961, are leading by example, and using their 3-D printing skills to create face shields for Devereux’s front-line staff.
||Article features Dr. Yolanda Graham: “Talking to individuals with autism about COVID-19”
For families and caregivers of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges, such as confusion and disruptions to daily routines and schedules. Read this Autism Spectrum News article featuring Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Yolanda Graham, M.D., as she offers tips for talking to individuals with ASD about COVID-19.
||Human Rights Campaign donates more than 7,000 face masks to Devereux
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) donated more than 7,000 face masks to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health to help protect the individuals in its care, along with its outstanding and dedicated team members, as part of the “HRC Gives Back” campaign.
||Devereux honors nurses and teachers during observances in May
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is paying tribute to the selfless and inspiring nurses and teachers who continue to provide the best possible care and support for children, adolescents and adults through the COVID-19 pandemic - and all year long.
||Podcast: Devereux’s Amy Kelly shares tips for helping families with special needs cope during a pandemic
For many families, maintaining a regular schedule during school closures and social distancing can be challenging, especially if you are caring for a child or adult with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, who is a mother of three teenage children (one with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities), shares tips to help parents and caregivers cope with a pandemic on WXPN’s Kathy Chats podcast.
||Erin Clemens shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast
Listen as Erin Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast.
||Devereux Center for Effective Schools releases free, online training modules for educators
With schools across the U.S. shifting to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) recently developed a series of free, online training modules to help educators successfully adapt to this new reality and engage students through remote instruction.
||Devereux’s Rayni Brindley writes letter to fellow parents of children with special needs
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President of Organizational Development Rayni Brindley, M.Ed., BCBA, whose 7-year-old son has autism, recently wrote a letter to fellow parents of children with special needs, offering tips to stay safe, healthy - and calm - during COVID-19.
||Devereux New York spreads joy and hope through rainbow initiative
Children, adolescents and adults at Devereux New York are bringing bright colors - and smiles - to the Red Hook, N.Y., community, and across the Hudson Valley, to lift spirits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.