Courage Worldwide Responds to Recent Article
Appeal state regulatory decisions that impact the safety of the residents and staff at Courage House.
Explore and pursue the new California state license since group homes (our current license) are being phased out by the state of California.
Recruit, hire, and train additional staff.
Negative publicity has left the incorrect impression that the state of California shut us down. That is not true. In fact, we still retain a license to operate a group home facility and are free to re-open as long as we are compliant with all state regulations. Unfortunately, major changes to the child welfare system took place on January 1, 2017 which dramatically affects our ability to execute our long term program and therapeutically serve minor children who have been sold for sex in the state of California. During the past year, we attended the orientation and subsequent follow up meetings for the new California licensing requirements. We have attempted to take our existing successful long term program and morph it into the new regulations, which are intentionally a short term program. During this process, we have realized our program will not fit into the new regulatory scheme as the Courage House program requires a minimum of 12 months, with best outcomes being realized in the 18 to 24 month range. There is now no state license available in the state of California for a long term program like ours, specific to this very specialized population; victims of sex trafficking. There are currently no carve outs or specific regulations and/or requirements for these vulnerable victims and their unique needs. The state mandate is to now place highly traumatized children in a short-term treatment facility, then move to a resource family (formerly called a foster family). These families will then be tasked with providing the unique therapeutic services these children require within their family unit. The state has a goal of providing every foster child a family. We applaud that goal … in theory. However, children who have been sold for sex have unique and elevated needs that don’t mirror a typical foster child’s needs. Without carve outs and special regulations for this population we do not feel we can keep the residents or staff safe at Courage House. When we opened Courage House Nor Cal in 2011, our intent was to provide a safe home; a place of healing for children who were sold for sex so that we could equip, encourage and empower them to be and do all God created them to. Under the new state regulations, requirements and expectations we are limited on how we can do that as some of these requirements are in conflict with our Christian values/beliefs. Due to these reasons, we have made the very difficult decision to not pursue the new short term residential treatment program (STRTP) license for minor children in the state of California at this time. We will continue to explore options that would allow us to serve girls who have been victims of sex trafficking and are seeking possible partnerships with other organizations committed to fighting sex trafficking. The media has also repeatedly questioned our fundraising efforts, implying that we have no other programs under the Courage Worldwide umbrella that require funding. That assertion is also untrue. In fact, our plate is quite full today. With the expansion in Tanzania, serving the over 18 population in the Sacramento region, pursuing the Courage House prototype for minors in states like Texas and Mississippi, as well as continuing our community education and victim certification programs, the tasks ahead of us are very exciting and yet challenging. Courage Worldwide no longer receives any county, state or federal funding. We are 100% dependent upon donations. To continue to serve those who have been affected by this evil and impacted by the crime of sex trafficking, we need you and your continued support. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement during this challenging season. We have sought the wise counsel of many, as well as the Lord. Though incredibly difficult, we do believe this is God’s direction for our organization. We covet your continued prayers and support. Sincerely,