24 Dec Department of Justice Awards $500,000 Grant to Wichita Children’s Home (WCH)
Wichita Children’s Home (WCH) recently received a grant for $500,000 from the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Integrated Services Grant to help WCH build upon WCH’s capacities and existing relationships with multiple sectors to sustain and scale high-quality services for minor victims of human trafficking and support coordinated prevention and detection efforts throughout the state of Kansas.
Funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will provide for the following staff positions: A Human Trafficking (HT) Case Manager to enhance intensive case management strategies and service coordination focusing specially on HT victims at Garver House, the human trafficking sole staff-secure unit (HT- SSU) and those identified within WCH’s Opportunity Zone (OZ) Homeless Drop-In Center; a HT Service Coordinator-Wichita Region to cultivate W/SC’s HT multi-sector coalition, which serves as the model for scaling multi-county coalitions across the state, and coordinate referral networks for services (and aftercare) for HT victims coming from rural Kansas to WCH as well as those identified in W/SC; and a HT Service Coordinator – Rural Kansas located in western Kansas to focus on the interstate corridors and develop/enhance rural networks of service providers. This team will work closely with WCH’s CEO, the Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives, and the Grants and Compliance Officer to implement key objectives and data collection procedures and evaluation protocol for monitoring progress. This structure will provide valuable information to other stakeholders for their development of strategic planning.
Establishing strategic multi-county coalitions with rural-based agencies and providers between Wichita and the Colorado state-line will help rural communities develop awareness, knowledge, and connection to statewide services and information to better identify victims or potential victims and reduce risk for re-exploitation.
Wichita Children’s Home has 130 years of providing comprehensive services to at-risk youth. More than 2,000 children are admitted each year- children who are homeless, abused, neglected, abandoned, runaways, or who are experiencing crisis. WCH is one of the only providers of emergency, temporary, and residential care for children in the state; operates a robust street outreach and drop-in center program for serving runaway and homeless youth; provides the sole staff-secure unit (SSU) in Kansas for minor victims of human trafficking (sex and labor), and has existing relationships with state and local agencies focused on eradicating human trafficking (HT).