Santa Barbara County to implement mental health program to assist sexually exploited, trafficked female juveniles

Santa Barbara County to implement mental health program to assist sexually exploited, trafficked female juveniles

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Santa Barbara County, California, in collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) is launching a new grant-funded program focused on female juveniles currently serving time within the county. The Resiliency Interventions for Sexual Exploitation, or RISE Project, provides mental health services, including beneficial group therapy sessions three times per week. Participants also receive one-on-one counseling on a weekly basis, working with an all-female staff.

The Rise Project was created after jail staff discovered that more than half of the female youth housed in Santa Barbara County facilities had been victims of sexual exploitation. The program will be developed and implemented by ADMHS and will target at-risk and known Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) victims. Corizon Health will collaborate with ADMHS in the creation of treatment plans, as well as provide medical care for program participants. Currently in “pilot” mode, once fully implemented, RISE is expected to serve between 40 and 60 juveniles at a time. Full implementation is expected by spring 2016.