Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $499,868)
Through Foundations, The Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CCAHT) will equip east Tennessee with vetted tools to reduce trafficking and exploitation of young girls by formulizing a thorough and robust training and awareness campaign and engaging youth in carefully curated intervention curricula that targets vulnerabilities and increases resiliency. Foundations is an organic expansion of the demonstrated success in both secondary and tertiary youth trafficking intervention efforts facilitated by the CCAHT since 2017, establishing the CCAHT as a leader in east Tennessee for effective and competent survivor support. Annually throughout this project, Foundations will expand primary intervention services to 65 new youth between the ages of 12-17 by establishing direct collaboration with 5 new youth-serving agencies and continuing to build in-roads with larger regional youth-serving institutions to improve policy regarding youth support and intervention. The CCAHT will leverage its status as a regional representative of the Tennessee Counter-Trafficking Alliance (TCTA) to create a solid foundation for expanding the success of Foundations across the state, creating the infrastructure for an intervention campaign that can be implemented across any community. By targeting localized youth-serving agencies, the CCAHT will increase access to peer-based learning environments and proliferate diversity among participants through pointed collaboration efforts with agencies serving marginalized populations. Early in the Foundations project, the CCAHT will establish tangible tools that are easily distributed among youth-service providers to increase fact-based awareness of youth exploitation and provide information for accessibility of support services. These tools will be available in both a professional and youth-friendly format to maximize youth engagement as part of the shared decision-making process for opting into intervention services. By the end of this project, the CCAHT will expand opportunities for professional development of youth-serving entities through active incorporation of practice-based experience and evidence-based practices, youth voice, professional application, and collaborative engagement in peer to peer workgroup collaborations. Globally, Foundations operates using a knowledge-is-power philosophy that offers transparency and demonstrable expertise of prevention and early intervention efforts against youth exploitation, without exception.