Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center Named Pilot Site for Human Trafficking Project

April 28, 2017

Charlotte, NC (April 28, 2017) Mecklenburg County is committed to addressing the needs of youth and young adults who are sexually exploited or trafficked. In addition to current efforts, the county has been named as a pilot site for Project NO REST, a statewide project to increase
the awareness of and response to human trafficking of youth (ages 25 and younger) in North Carolina.

Project NO REST (North Carolina Organizing and Responding to the Exploitation and Sexual Trafficking of Children) is an initiative of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. UNC-CH has received a two-year, $4.9 million grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission.

As the lead agency for the Mecklenburg County project, Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center is responsible for coordinating efforts among multiple agencies within Mecklenburg County to address human trafficking issues within the local community. Other core partner agencies include the Department of Social Services, Present Age Ministries, and the CharlotteMecklenburg Police Department. Shawna Pagano was hired in March to facilitate the project and serve as liaison between partner agencies.

The project seeks to identify the scope of human trafficking of children and young adults in Mecklenburg County, identify current capacity/resources and gaps in the service delivery system, and improve outcomes for those who are affected.

“Due to our history of coordinating our community’s multidisciplinary response to child abuse, Pat’s Place is well-positioned to work with our partners in this effort,” says Andrew Oliver, Executive Director. “This project is a natural extension of our services to youth who are exploited.”

“Mecklenburg County recognizes the need for coordinated response and specialized knowledge to effectively intervene on behalf of the vulnerable victims and we are excited to lead this strong community collaboration.”

Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center coordinates the investigation and treatment of the most serious cases of child abuse in Mecklenburg County. Since 2005, Pat’s Place has assisted thousands of children throughout Mecklenburg County, providing forensic interviews, medical exams, advocacy support, and therapy. For additional information about the organization, contact Lori Avery, Director of Development and Communications at lori@patsplacecac.org.

For more information about Project NO REST, please contact Shawna Pagano, Mecklenburg County Project NO REST Coordinator, at projectnorest@patsplacecac.org.

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