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As a staff member at Wellspring Living, “How do the girls come to you?” is a question I often get asked. It is a tough and sticky process to get a girl from trafficked or abused to restorative aftercare, but we have some very strategic procedures to do so.

I’ve decided to explain it by program today to give you a better understanding of how our referral program operates.

Wellspring Living Girls Residential Program

This home is for girls ages 12-17, and is a therapeutic and educational program for   Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC), or victims of forced prostitution and sex trafficking.

Here’s how it works:

Wellspring Living works with the Georgia Care Connection (GCC) to reach the girls we serve. The Georgia Care Connection is a referral service that assesses and identifies sex trafficking survivors.

Step 1: Girl is identified as a  Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC) through GCC and referred to our girls program.

Step 2: Wellspring Living receives her paperwork, and they see if she meets the eligibility criteria.

Step 3: If the young lady is accepted into the program, Wellspring Living sets up an intake date for her family or custody holder. We welcome her into the program, introduce her to the other girls and begin her education and therapy.

***Sometimes we receive emergency placement, and we are unable to review and “accept” her into the program. In those cases, they still attend an intake interview and start the program. After 30 days, we assess if she is appropriate for the program.

Empowered Living Program

This home is an extension of our girls residential program for young women ages 17-22. The Empowered Living Program (ELP) is purposed to provide residential, therapeutic, and educational/career guidance services for young women identified as Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC) victims.

Step 1: Girl is identified as a CSEC victim through GCC. If she is under 18, she goes through the process listed above.

Step 2:

a)     Girls from the Wellspring Living Girls Residential program have the opportunity to continue their therapy and support by moving into the ELP. They are efficiency apartment-style homes and offer a continued foundation of support from Wellspring Living as the girls further assimilate back into society.

b)   Girls do not have to complete the Wellspring Living Girls Residential program to enroll in the ELP. After they are referred to us by the GCC, they have to apply for the ELP and be interviewed by staff. We do this to teach them responsibility and encourage the fact that they can control their futures by actively choosing this program.

Step 3: Girls participate in orientation to the program, meet the other girls and begin the program.

Wellspring Living Women

This home is for women ages 18+ who are adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is a residential recovery home for women to receive therapy, counseling, life skills classes, mentorship applying for jobs, and guidance to jump-start a new life.

Here’s how it works:

Women generally hear about this program by word of mouth, through family, churches, Wellspring Living advertising pieces, etc. Not all women in this home have been trafficked. Some were working in strip clubs, escort services, dealing with drug or alcohol addictions, etc. Most are leading these destructive lifestyles as a result of childhood sexual abuse.

Step 1: Referred to Wellspring Living Women by word of mouth: family, church, Wellspring Living advertising materials, or a rescue service such as Out of Darkness.

Step 2:  Women stay for 2-4 weeks in our Redeemed Assessment Center. Here trained therapists and staff assess if Wellspring Living is an appropriate program for them. If it is not a good fit, we find another program that is better for them specifically and help them transfer there.

Step 3: If Wellspring Living is the best fit for them, we move them to the women’s home (right next door to the Assessment Center) and help them transition into the program.

I hope this helps your understanding of some of the processes to our programs.

What questions do you have about how our programs operate? Write them in the comments here.