BCFS Health and Human Services Spearheads Common Thread,
Advocacy for Victims of Human Trafficking in San Antonio, Waco, and Killeen
Through a grant awarded from the State of Texas Office of the Governor, BCFS Health and Human Services is excited to spearhead the Common Thread project. Common Thread is BCFS HHS’ necessary response to the alarming and unfortunately underreported crime of child sex trafficking. Common Thread provides immediate, flexible, and relationship-focused services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for domestic and foreign survivors of child sex trafficking under the age of 25. The program helps survivors by offering immediate in-field response when victims are identified, intensive case management, and long-term mentorship.
With offices in San Antonio, Waco and Killeen, Texas, Common Thread collaborates with other like-minded agencies in a 26-county area in central Texas to build a proactive and mobile team that will work to accomplish the goals of:
- employing a first-responder mentality to ensure a rapid and thorough response for each referral;
- remaining a constant, accessible, and dependable ally for each child engaged with Common Thread, and
- advocating for children in order to build trust between the child and adult allies in their communities.
Common Thread’s innovative mobile approach will allow advocates to customize their rapid response to survivors throughout the region. Common Thread allows for survivors to maintain a critical trusting relationship with their advocate, even if the survivor continuously relocates as a part of his or her recovery.
“We already know that children are at a heightened risk to be trafficked, or re-victimized, when they have had a history of broken relationships,” says BCFS Health and Human Services Residential Services Division’s National Director Susan Rosas. “Common Thread aims to support survivor recovery by building long-term positive adult relationships, modeled first by Common Thread advocates, and then replicated for each child in his or her community. Evidence shows that survivors often have a complex and transient recovery, and we’re lucky to launch the first program in Texas that can flex with them. We’re with our clients, no matter what.”
BCFS HHS is proud to lead the Common Thread project. The relationships formed with other community organizations will help build a strong, substantial network of advocacy for clients. The teamwork model will include trainings and action plans for agencies to ensure consistent quality improvement of service delivery.
Common Thread welcomes volunteers and interns. If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please email commonthread@BCFS.net. To refer someone 21 years old or younger who may have been the victim of human trafficking — to include sexual exploitation, survival sex, and other forms of commercial sex — in the United States, call the 24/7 Common Thread hotline at 1-888-8THREAD (884-7323).
Common Thread is overseen by Asennet Segura, BCFS Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer–Community, International & Residential Operations, and BCFS Health and Human Services Residential Services Division personnel, including Sonya Thompson, Executive Director; Susan Rosas, National Director; Graciela Gomez, National Operations Manager; Irasema Resendez, National Partnerships Manager; and Eyra Montemayor, Program Director.