FULTON - The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County (CAC) and the Oswego County Safe Harbour Critical Team (SHCT) invites all youth serving professionals to a meet and greet breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 9 at the CAC offices, 163 S. First St. in Fulton.
Contracted through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and Oswego County Department of Social Services, members of the SHCT include CiTi BOCES, Catholic Charities of Oswego, Huntington Family Centers, Oswego City-Youth Bureau, Fulton City School District, Farnham Family Services, SUNY Oswego, and City of Oswego Police Department.
Aptly named “Boots on the Ground” the breakfast is an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to learn about the Safe Harbour Critical Team. Over breakfast, the Safe Harbour Critical Team will breakdown its mission of building a collaborative effort to advocate, raise awareness and provide services to the community regarding human trafficking and exploitation. This meet and greet breakfast extends specifically to how children, and those who work with them, in the community are affected by this problem.
“Our goal is to educate them on the problem of sexual exploitation and trafficking and introduce them to others that may serve as a resource and help answer questions they may have,” said CAC Executive Director Karrie Damm. “We want to begin by simply raising awareness of what sexual exploitation and trafficking is. It could start by the exchange of a sexual favor for a place to sleep or a cell phone; however that can lead to exploitation or for the engagement in sexual acts for that to continue or even the use of video or images as blackmail.”
“The breakfast will also be an opportunity for us to hear from those who are interacting with youth on a daily basis,” stated Tristen Johnson, Outreach and Prevention Safe Harbour Advocate at the CAC. “We’re reaching out to schools, faith based organizations, youth oriented groups and organizations, non-profit agencies and anyone that works with, or provides services, to youth, including law enforcement agencies, health care providers, and mental health care providers. They are truly the boots on the ground. Our ‘Boots on the Ground’ breakfast is the first of several events that we will host as we continue build a strong collaborative network of professionals, community members, and youth working together to combat child trafficking, extortion and exploitation in Oswego County.”
For information of the “Boots on the Ground” breakfast contact the CAC at 315-59CHILD (315-592-4453) or visit www.oswegocac.org