Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN)

About This Program

Target Population: Youth (male, female, and transgender) under age 18 who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation or are at-risk

For children/adolescents ages: 10 – 17

Program Overview

The SEEN Coalition is a public-private partnership that implements a county-wide response to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) and at-risk youth. Comprised of over 35 inter-agency partners, SEEN operates within the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. The coalition employs a full-time Case Coordinator who receives referrals and enacts a multi-disciplinary response that emphasizes youth development, recovery, healing, and justice. The Coordinator connects involved case collaterals, facilitates case conferences in order to manage intervention and service provision, coordinates forensic interviews as appropriate, tracks cases to ensure that youth needs are met, and maintains the SEEN referral database. The coordinator also provides local training and outreach. The SEEN Coalition is governed by a Steering Committee of community partners representing juvenile justice, youth development, and child protection. It convenes quarterly Advisory Group Meetings among local service providers and law enforcement to facilitate networking opportunities, provide information about local resources, and offer training and relevant information.

Program Goals

The goals of Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) are:

  • Empower child/teen victims to leave their exploiter and utilize opportunities to regain control of their future
  • Ensure the physical and psychological safety of exploited youth
  • Ensure youths’ access to resources and services
  • Enforce offender accountability by apprehending and prosecuting adults who exploit them

Essential Components

The essential components of Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) include:

  • The SEEN Coalition is a program of a children’s advocacy center and is built upon a foundation of multidisciplinary collaboration.
  • Partnering with child welfare services and the local district attorney’s office, SEEN is automatically notified of suspected cases of commercial sexual exploitation via the existing child abuse reporting system. A Memorandum of Understanding formalizes this process of identification and referral.
  • Staffing includes a full-time Case Coordinator and Executive Director.
  • The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Response Model is based upon intensive case coordination and the program’s goals, and rooted in Youth Development and Recovery.
  • Case Coordination tasks include:
    • Receiving referrals from local child welfare services, the office of the district attorney, and concerned community partners
    • Identifying case collaterals within Probation, juvenile and criminal justice, court clinics, Child Welfare, the Department of Youth Services, the Office of the District Attorney, youth outreach workers, mentors, medical personnel, educational supports, counseling programs, advocates, and law enforcement
    • Facilitating multidisciplinary team case conferences to address case history, needs and concerns, perpetrator lethality and risk, and to formulate collaborative action plans
    • Submitting referrals which are tailored to individual need and, whenever possible, prioritize CSEC-specific support services (including group prevention education and individual mentorship)
    • Tracking Data
  • Training and Outreach efforts are essential. SEEN conducts a two-day training which profiles CSEC, risk factors for exploitation, current data, the SEEN response protocol, and dynamics of a successful Multidisciplinary Team. Local outreach and education is also provided upon request and/or when the need is recognized within the local community of providers. SEEN provides a variety of trainings for providers and community members including:
    • SEEN response model to CSEC
    • How to prevent, identify and intervene with CSEC victims and high-risk children

    SEEN also provides professional training to other communities on how to effectively utilize and implement a multidisciplinary response to CSEC.

  • Advisory Group Meetings are held quarterly and cover relevant information topics pertaining to CSEC (recent legislation, exploitation specific support services, new research, current field practices, etc.). The Advisory Group members are comprised of SEEN’s 38+ partner agencies.
  • Key partners and stakeholders comprise The SEEN Coalition Steering Committee. The function of the Steering Committee is to address policy, oversee the coalition, and serve as a decision-making body. It convenes monthly.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • "High-risk” behaviors for CSEC and exploitation, itself:
    • High-risk behaviors including running away, truancy, new clothes, accessories, goods, or money that are unaccounted for, multiple phones and/or phone calls and contact from older males, history of sexually transmitted infections, police reports related to prostitution, journals and disclosures citing exploitative activity, sudden changes in behavior, excessive or concerning Internet activity, emotional instability and exhaustion, substance abuse, injuries from beatings or weapons, branding, scarring and tattooing, physical signs of abuse, involvement with older males, disconnection from family and age appropriate activities, interest in pornography and/or sex industry, and language from “The Life.”
    • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children including street prostitution, pornography, stripping, erotic/nude massage, escort services, phone sex lines, private parties, gang-based prostitution, interfamilial pimping, trading sex for food, clothing shelter and forms of internet-based exploitation.
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Case collaterals involved with referred youth are the essential members of SEEN’s Multidisciplinary Response Teams. Law enforcement, assistant district attorneys and victim witness advocates, probation officers, child welfare workers/social workers, clinicians, therapeutic supports, survivor-mentors and CSEC-specific support service providers, juvenile justice attorneys, and staff from the department of youth services convene in the event of a referral, throughout investigations, and as cases evolve. Parents and non-offending family members are also included in the multidisciplinary team response, as appropriate.

Recommended Intensity:

The case coordinator communicates daily with involved collaterals, convening case conferences, attending case reviews, and communicating by phone and email. Each youth referred to the program typically has 1-10 community collaterals involved in their case. The number of contacts per month between the Case Coordinator and community collaterals is approximately 200-250, with sessions of contact ranging from 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Recommended Duration:

The Case Coordinator receives referrals on an ongoing basis. Cases generally remain open for 1-2 years. At the onset of referral, daily contact among team members is typical; contact decreases to monthly and bi--monthly updates/communication over time, depending on case needs.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Resources include a dedicated full-time coordinator, preferably located within in existing child abuse response entity such as a Children’s Advocacy Center, space for computer, phone and filing system, engaged community-partner agencies, existing trust/ongoing relationship between SEEN Coordinator and multidisciplinary team members/agencies involved.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Knowledge and experience working with abused and/or exploited youth, thorough understanding of local child abuse reporting and response systems, as well as juvenile justice system, strong organizational skills and flexibility, strong interpersonal skills. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement.

Education and Training Resources

There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Training is provided onsite at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. Outreach and training is available locally by request.

Number of days/hours:

Trainings can be scheduled and tailored to meet the needs of the audience.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN).

Additional References

Clayton, E., Krugman R., & Simon P. (2013). Confronting commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. Committee on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Committee on Law and Justice; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council.

Epstein, R., & Edelman, P. (2013). Blueprint: A multidisciplinary approach to the domestic sex trafficking of girls. Retrieved from http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/centers-institutes/poverty-inequality/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=169026

Piening, S., & Cross, T. (2012). From “The Life” to my life: Sexually exploited children reclaiming their futures, Suffolk County Massachusetts’ response to commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Retrieved from http://www.suffolkcac.org/assets/pdf/From_the_Life_to_My_Life_Suffolk_Countys_Response_to_CSEC_June_2012.pdf

Contact Information

Elizabeth Bouchard, BA
Agency/Affiliation: Support to End Exploitation Now/Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County
Website: www.suffolkcac.org/programs/seen
Email:
Phone: (617) 779-2145
Fax: (617) 779-2196

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2013