Marina (left) is grateful to Kidsave for helping her and her sister (far right) find a loving father (middle) and family to protect them.
Organization Helps Provide Safe, Permanent Homes for Youth Most Vulnerable to Sexual Exploitation
Los Angeles, CA (July 22, 2019) - It is estimated that human trafficking impacts a staggering 24.9 million people worldwide, with the United States being one of the worst performing countries in this area. In fact, according to a recently released report by the U.S. State Department, the United States is among the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018, along with Mexico and the Philippines. Estimates place the number of current trafficking victims within the United States at over 400,000.
Equally distressing is recent reporting that 50% - 60% of the victims of U.S. human trafficking are youth coming out of the country’s foster care system. Traffickers routinely prey upon children in government care.
Kidsave, a global charitable organization, combats this issue by working to give older foster youth safe connections and permanent families. The organization promotes and supports the adoption of older, harder-to-place children in foster care and orphanages here in the U.S. and abroad. Through their proprietary Weekend Miracles family visit program, Kidsave combines mentorship and child-specific adoption advocacy to support youth who would otherwise age out of foster care without a permanent family or more stable adult connection in their lives - making them more vulnerable to exploitation.
The goal of Weekend Miracles is a lifelong, connected, caring relationship with at least one safe, stable adult for every child. Kidsave recruits and trains volunteer hosts (individuals and families) to provide ongoing support to these children. Hosts welcome a foster youth into their home on weekends, get to know them and support them in their lives. Simultaneously, hosts work with Kidsave to use their networks, circles of influence, and the local media to introduce that child to a family who will adopt them.
Hosts may also adopt or become permanent legal guardians of the child. More than 75% of the kids who complete the Kidsave Weekend Miracles programs exit with relational or legal permanency.
Randi Thompson, Kidsave’s Co-Founder and CEO, commented on the recent Trafficking in Persons report and how the organization is helping. “It’s so troubling to see how many kids in the foster care system end up being trafficked or sexually exploited in some way. By helping find permanent homes for these children, we create environments where they are much less susceptible to predators and can realize their full potential. We hope people will help support us as we work to expand this important work throughout the U.S.”
Marina, 27, who found an adoptive family through Kidsave, offered her unique perspective as well. “During my childhood I felt very vulnerable and my prospects were uncertain. I could have been placed in the position to be victimized by traffickers, like so many children out there. Thinking back, I realize how fortunate I am to have found such a loving and supportive family to protect me. My hope is that through awareness and advocacy for foster youth, we can help those still vulnerable to these crimes.”
To learn more Kidsave and the positive impact it is having with foster youth, please visit the organization’s web site at www.kidsave.org.
Kidsave is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that develops model programs and creates policy to help children forgotten in foster care and orphanages meet adoptive families. Our programs are currently operating in the United States, Russia, Colombia and Sierra Leone. Kidsave maintains a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and earned a top-ranked organization evaluation from Global Giving in 2019. To learn more, please visit www.kidsave.org or contact Lauren Davis at (202) 503-3101.
1,2, 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, US State Department
3 The Global Slavery Index 2018
4 Human Trafficking in America Among Worst in the World, Fox News, June 23, 2019