LA Health Services (DHS) is participating in the Safe Youth Zone (SYZ) initiative. The program provides temporary haven for any youth who faces a potentially threatening situation and needs a place to go, particularly those in danger from human trafficking and abuse. Oftentimes these youth have no place to go for help and end up going back to unsafe spaces, exploiters, traffickers, or other situations where they may be subjected to more abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation. Attached in the link above is a description of the program and a protocol sheet that explains the steps to follow if you should encounter a youth in crisis in your daily work.
As part of the SYZ implementation, DHS offered a SYZ training video in the Learning Link online for staff. Over 80% of the DHS workforce have already completed this training! This SYZ training video describes the high incidence and very real danger of child human trafficking for sex and labor exploitation in LA County, and what we need to know as a DHS workforce to be better prepared to help. For more information on SYZ, please contact Loretta Worthington at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know of a youth in crisis, please call the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000. Remember, one call can save a life!