With office in Waco, Killeen, and San Antonio, Texas, Common Thread adds Houston to their list! With a multi-disciplary team to advocate for individuals who have been exposed to human trafficking.
BCFS Health and Human Services Residential Services Division’s (RSD) newest program, Common Thread, is expanding! In the first week of 2018, Common Thread has been named the advocacy agency to work alongside partner organizations in Houston, Texas, in working to help survivors recover from experience with human trafficking.
In late 2017 in central and south Texas, Common Thread began administering programs, services, and advocacy in 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.
Offices began operating in Waco, Killeen, and San Antonio, Texas, and—after an invitation from the Office of the Governor to present Common Thread’s unique spectrum of services and staff—will soon be operating in tandem with the Houston-area’s Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to advocate for individuals who have been exposed to the scourge of human trafficking.
“Our Common Thread team, led by RSD’s National Director Susan Rosas, presented to 15 stakeholders to explain what Common Thread’s services would resemble in Houston,” explains Sonya Thompson, Executive Director for BCFS Health and Human Services’ Residential Services Division.
“After lots of discussion and a final vote,” she says, “the MDT voted for Common Thread to be their Houston advocacy program. The vote of confidence is a true testament to the extraordinary work this team is doing in our Texas communities.”
Currently, Common Thread collaborates with other agencies in a 26-county area in central Texas to build a proactive and mobile team that works toward becoming an ally for children and youth who have been through some of the darkest recesses of human trafficking. Common Thread employs a mobile approach to its advocacy to help a survivor build critical trusting relationships with their advocate, even if the survivor continuously relocates as 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,” said Rosas in 2017. “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 are honored to operate the first program in Texas that can flex with them. We’re with our clients, no matter what.”
Common Thread’s teamwork model includes 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. For information, visit www.commonthread.net.