CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center received a little over $700,000 to fund their IMPACT program that assists youth impacted by child sex trafficking.
Chief Program Officer Carole Swiecicki says there is a great need for more resources as child sex trafficking is becoming a greater threat to the community.
Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center works with community agencies like social services and law enforcement to respond when child abuse happens.
Swiecicki says the grant was awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime and this is their 3rd consecutive time receiving this competitive grant.
For the last 15 years, they’ve been drawing more attention to the fact that trafficking is a severe form of child abuse, and now the Department of Social Services legally recognizes it as such.
“This grant recognizes the great need in the Charleston area. So, it’s funding a substantial portion of both of those positions, as well as some of our staff that do things like interview children, that provide advocacy services for caregivers, as well as the youth. So, it really helps support our whole response,” Swiecicki says.
Child sex trafficking can happen to any youth in any neighborhood and Swiecicki wants adults to know how they can help. If you’re a teacher or family member, for example, she recommends providing emotional support and safety to a child who might be experiencing abuse.
To find more resources about child abuse and Dee Norton’s programs click here.
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