Faith Justice Network Meeting Notes 3-13-14
Union Library 6:30-8:30 pm
Biblical Justice Message by Kay Olsen: 1 John 3:18 and read a quote from the book, “Love Does.”
Speaker Karen Kirk-Brockman, Director of Safe Harbor and the program My Friend’s Place:
Bio: 14 years as a foster parent, served on state children’s taskforce, started career working with teen sex offenders, helped start teen court.
Overview of My Friends Place: Teens are there for all kinds of reasons. She has seen kids that have been gang involved. Police bring them in for a cooling down period. On the other hand, she has seen a kid who is in Running Start. Her mom was meth addict and father was abusing her, but she was not considered homeless because she has church family to stay with on weekends. Referrals usually come from Sexual response center, police officers, Union Gospel Mission.
Prayer request: Unaccompanied minors should be the definition for a minor. At this time, teens are under the same definition as adults. Some teens are not considered homeless because they have “options.” Can very rarely consider a teen homeless. $150,000 to run the program. The most the county gives is about $60,000. If teens don’t meet the definition, the county won’t pay. HUD is the federal definition used in our county. We would like to change it to the McKinney Vento Act definition in the county so my teens qualify and can be paid for.
Intake Process: Must notify law enforcement and parents within 24 hours. If the child is a sex offender, the child is not allowed to stay there. 13-17 year old are on one side. 18-19 year olds that are still in high school are on one side. They qualify to stay there if they go through the coordinated system in Benton County. They try to keep the girls in their own room.
Services offered: They have to go through the process for 90 days and can re-enroll. They have to have an individual service plan to help them with mental health, chemical dependency, abuse, lack of boundaries. They coordinate with the probation officers and school districts. While they are there, they are required to go to school. Meals are provided staff and funded by United Way. Breakfast from 6-7 am and lunch from 5-8 pm and on the weekends. Job is trying to protect them. They don’t want to raise them. If they can get into foster care, that is better. At this point, kids can stay in foster system until they are 21 if they are in an educational system. More volunteers are needed to teach about hygiene and teaching the 18-19 year olds how to prepare for college and/or work.
Risks for Human Trafficking: Sexual exploitation is the first thing that they sell after all all of their things are gone. Out of the 9 there, only 2 will probably be able sophisticated enough to not be sexually exploited
Lura and Tirsa announced that they are working on getting an OB/GYN to Tri-Cities to do a presentation on awareness of human trafficking in the medical field. Targeted MD/DO to give CME. She will be here on a Tuesday in May. Also looking at getting a forensic nurse to come in September to focus on educating nurses.
Elaine explained the website: She welcomes those who want to be profiled. The way to get e-mails is to sign up and follow and then confirm through e-mail. FaithJusticeNetwork@gmail.com is the new way of communicating rather than using Betty’s personal e-mail.
Betty gave a Legislative Update:
Jamie spoke of IJM resources: Advocacy handbook is a resource
Freed: Training being offered on Trauma. Only have to RSVP for the all day training.
WA Engage: get as many people to sign up to get legislative updates. WWW.waengage.com
Sergio: Requesting prayer for Roots of Change. An organization to help middle school and high school in East Pasco. Goal is to live there and be there and love people.
Soroptimist: Will be giving an update on their work Tuesday April 29th at CBC 6:30-8:00 pm
Wayne: Spoke about FJN bylaws and statement of faith and officers
Ended meeting with small group prayer
Next Meeting is June 9th. It will be in Pasco.