SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Bay Area has the highest rates of commercially sexually exploited youth in the United States, according to the FBI, and about 98% identified were involved with the child welfare system.
Not only that, but according to a 2017 report, data from 22 agencies serving trafficking survivors in San Francisco, housing and shelter were among the top service gaps reported for youth ages 10-17.
And in fact, researchers have found that key barriers to housing include a lack of available beds, a lack of specialized support services at shelters and short-term residential care or group homes, restrictive policies that prohibit youth from returning to shelters, a lack of adults who are willing to care for older youth, and lack of adults who have the knowledge, training, and skills to support youth who have experienced complex trauma.
So, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women partnered with the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, Freedom Forward, Family Builders, Huckleberry Youth Programs, and West Coast Children’s Clinic to create a family-based foster care pilot for these children.
That's why the program, called Family and Me, or FAM, is seeking foster care parents.
Interested caregivers can visit joinfam.org to learn more about the program.