Case Study

Breaking Cycles Graduated Sanctions Program

San Diego County, Calif.

The Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) program is a joint partnership between the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services, the County of San Diego Department of Probation, and San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), which is a contracted provider. In February 2015, Behavioral Health Services amended the contract for the Breaking Cycles Graduated Sanctions Program and developed another program component to serve children who are at risk for, or victims of, commercial sexual exploitation. This service component provides screening, identification, groups and community referrals to youth in San Diego County’s Department of Probation detention facilities which include Kearny Mesa Juvenile Hall and the Girls Rehabilitative Facility. The goal of the CSEC services program is to identify girls between 12 to 17 years of age who are at risk for, or are currently being commercially sexually exploited. Prevention and intervention services are provided within the institution, along with referrals to community providers upon release. A screening tool is used by staff to assign the youth into groups depending on age and risk factor. The groups range from Alcohol & Drug & Wellness to CSEC-specific prevention curriculum. The CSEC groups utilize the My Life, My Choice prevention curriculum, self-care journals and Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) - Survivor Guide to Leaving. There are five additional full time staff members employed by SDYS to operate the CSEC services program. The staff is trained on the needs of this specific population and work closely with the girls to build rapport. They also collaborate with assigned probation officers and Child Welfare Services staff in multi-disciplinary team meetings which ensure that the much needed support, interventions, resources and services can be provided.

Contact: 
Ms. Shelby Kang 
Student Worker - Undergraduate

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