The Cleveland Division has selected Second Chance to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.
The Toledo, Ohio area has a significant juvenile prostitution problem, with numerous local child victims identified and recovered through the FBI's Innocence Lost National Initiative. Though smaller in population than the other cities participating in this initiative, Toledo, with intersecting highways and a high poverty level, has been determined to be a hub for the problem, with many of the nation's child prostitutes originating from the region.
Second Chance, a Toledo nonprofit organization, has worked closely with the Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force to assist the child victims in these prostitution cases. Second Chance was responsible for the 2009 recovery of a juvenile female—a key witness in an ongoing child prostitution case—after she left a foster home to go back into prostitution.
Second Chance follows the Social Work Code of Ethics while offering services to girls victimized by prostitution, girls at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking, and girls who have actually been victimized by sex trafficking. Second Chance has assembled a team of experienced social workers, trained survivors, undergraduate and graduate interns, and other professionals who advocate for victims at the local, state, and national levels.
The team develops individualized service plans for each woman or youth in need of assistance. Plans are modeled on treatment and recovery practices that support women and youth in healing from trauma, that support learning and developing a strong sense of self, and that challenge the women and youth to develop healthy and authentic relationships.
Second Chance's mission is to offer supportive services to women and youth affected by or at risk for involvement in sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation; raise awareness about the issues of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children; and advocate for women and youth throughout the country to secure and provide resources for treatment and services for victims of sex trafficking and exploitation.
Second Chance has worked with the FBI on numerous occasions, providing emergency and long- term services, such as counseling and referrals for housing, to victimized girls and women in Northwest Ohio.