Throughout the years, Children of the Night has gained the reputation as one of the most prominent and successful organizations in the nation addressing the needs of America's sex trafficked children.
Children of the Night is a unique program with some specific characteristics that make its groundbreaking, award-winning, life-changing work possible:
Most shelters in America are supported by federal funds and limit shelter services to a young person for a mere 21 days; therefore, young people move from shelter to shelter, on and off the streets to shabby motels, abandoned buildings, truck stops and other unstable living conditions.
Federal and state-funded social service programs often provide the bottom rung of social services: bricks and mortar, beds or cots, minimal supervision and minimal case management for people trying to escape the streets. Often the staff who work in these programs resided on the street as youth and continue to struggle to make a living.
Without the skilled and experienced support of trained Children of the Night staff, many of these programs will only serve as temporary warehouses for people trapped living on the street.
No one in America is providing a continuum of care for young people once they leave detention centers or foster homes. As a result, this group of vulnerable youth tends to move between shelters, motels and the streets until they turn 18 and age out of the meager services available to them. WOW is the first program taking comprehensive education and mental health services to these kids wherever they are, providing them an opportunity to permanently escape life on the streets.
Children of the Night WOW is an exciting and challenging program that will leave an indelible mark on the standard of care for American adolescents who receive out-of-home care and adults who have been unable to permanently escape life on the streets.
Identifying Children of the Night WOW Clients and PartnersA Children of the Night Program Executive travels the United States reaching out to shelters, drop in centers and street programs to offer Children of the Night's WOW educational and mental health services. Whether it is working with an individual client or supporting existing case management staff in other programs, Children of the Night WOW is ready and able to provide critical services to permanently remove young people from life on the street.
The Children of the Night WOW educational program provides free, comprehensive online GED services including GED test registration, payment of test fees, support documents required to test and transportation to GED test sites throughout America. Once the student is ready to test for the GED, we make it as easy as possible for students to walk in and take the test.
Each student is given an online assessment to determine which subjects need work, and which he or she is already prepared to take. Tutoring is provided one-on-one through an online classroom. WOW staff helps students get access to a computer at the local public libraries, internet cafes, drop in centers, or Goodwill Industry.
As part of our comprehensive GED Program, we find the student's local GED test center and help the student and/or caseworker obtain all the necessary documents to register for the test. We can also provide transportation to the test center, and payment of the test fees. We work directly with test centers to make it as easy as possible for students to simply walk in and take the GED.
Our 24/7 nationwide toll free hotline provides ongoing case management for survival needs such as food, shelter and crisis intervention to ensure the student is able to complete their GED course. From start to finish, Children of the Night WOW is ready, willing and able to provide life changing services to permanently remove young people from "life on the street."
Our goal is to accompany a person forced to live on the streets through all barriers to the mainstream of society. We are committed to helping anyone on the street obtain an education enabling them to enter the military, obtain civil service jobs and attend educational institutions of higher learning. We want to provide real opportunities which will permanently remove people from the streets of our nation.
The WOW Mental Health Program is a NO COST program designed to work with individuals outside the walls of the Children of the Night home.
Children of the Night's WOW Mental Health Program provides assistance to clients who are in need of help when suffering from psychotic episodes and traditional shelters are unable to address their psychiatric needs. These issues may consist of hallucinations/delusions (hearing voices in their heads), mood swings (triggered by depression), or suicidal ideation. They may not be able to control their rage/anger and may have outbursts which may result in their arrest.
We also provide support services and access to those who are developmentally disabled and entitled to Regional Center services. Bureaucracy makes it difficult, if not impossible for the mentally ill or developmentally disabled to access residential programs requiring legal documents, psychological assessments and interviews. This process is overwhelming to someone who survives on the street and doesn't know what is going to happen next.
Our services start at the beginning with application for government identification, continue through psychiatric assessments, educational testing, application for supplemental income and medical insurance from the Social Security Administration, and culminate in placement in a residential program with a mental health component. Transportation is provided to hospitals and government offices throughout the entire process.
We specialize in the little steps required to access these entitlements — entitlements which were created so American people with disabilities would not have to live on the street. Application for these entitlements is a 6 month to 1 year process and that is why our 24/7 nationwide, toll free hotline is critical to supporting these clients with case management while they endure the application process.
Children of the Night boasts over 150 volunteers made up of doctors, dentists, optometrists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other licensed professionals.
In recent years, we have received countless inquiries from professionals and corporations throughout America asking us to provide opportunities for them to help.
In response, Children of the Night WOW has created a volunteer placement program for professional and corporate volunteers to help shelters and other residential programs with services not available through traditional funding.
"Dr. Lois Lee, Founder & President of Children of the Night, did a wonderful job by connecting me with the Center for Family Services.
Center for Family Services joined Deloitte for the professional services organization's 14th annual IMPACT Day in June 2013. The organizations focused on packing the Summer Learning Packs for 800 children supported by Head Start program in Southern New Jersey.
IMPACT Day is a celebration of Deloitte's longstanding commitment to its communities, where its 50,000+ people nationwide make nonprofits their top clients for the day by setting aside their work and contributing their time and talent."
- Lana Gruzinova, Deloitte and Touche Tohmatsu LimitedChildren of the Night WOW placed professional volunteers from Deloitte and Touche Tohmatsu Limited with the Center for Family services in Camden, New Jersey. The volunteer work was not done at Children of the Night, but in another agency across the country.
Alice lived in the Children of the Night home in 2008. At 16, she decided to return to the streets and was arrested for prostitution. The juvenile court ordered her to attend GED classes but Alice told us "the classes were awful and no one paid attention to the teacher. Most of the other kids didn't want to be there or study because they were forced to come. They were disrespectful so the teacher couldn't teach and I didn't really learn there."
In late 2011, Alice was pregnant and desperately wanted to obtain her GED so that she could provide a better life for her baby.
McGraw Hill donated GED materials for Children of the Night WOW to tutor Alice. Children of the Night funded her test registration, GED fees and even provided transportation to the GED testing site in her home town. Alice passed the GED!
Children of the Night provided Alice with diapers, bottles and a teddy bear for her newborn baby. Today, Alice is working and preparing for community college.
Victoria has been in the foster care system since she was a little girl and began prostituting as a teenager. She suffers from debilitating depression, and has not attended school since the 9th grade.
One of our shelter partners in Southern California reached out to Children of the Night WOW to help Victoria with GED assessment and tutoring. Victoria took the GED Assessment and began one on one tutoring. After the maximum 21 days at the shelter, Victoria was moved to a different program. With the support of her new shelter, Victoria's tutoring was uninterrupted.
Since then, Children of the Night WOW has stayed with Victoria through psychiatric holds for her mental illness, compulsive running away, stints in juvenile hall and relocations to different programs.
In April we referred her to another shelter. Once settled, she called our hotline to resume studying for the GED. Our tutors continue working with her to prepare for the test.
After a long history of substance abuse, Larry found his way to Tumbleweed Tempe Youth Resource Center where they helped him put his life back together.
As part of Larry's case management, his caseworker at Tumbleweed referred him to Children of the Night WOW's online GED program.
Our tutors assessed Larry in all 5 GED subjects and found that all Larry needed was some help with his writing skills. Tempe Youth Resource Center and Children of the Night's WOW tutors worked closely with Larry. When Larry was ready, Children of the Night WOW registered Larry with his local GED Testing Center and paid the fees required to test for the GED. In December of 2012, Larry passed the GED.
Charlene has battled heroin addiction since her teens. In her late 20s her children were removed from her care and placed in foster care. Now, thirty years later and sober, she wanted her grown children to be proud and know she had changed her life. Children of the Night WOW assessed Charlene for the GED and tutored her in algebra and essay writing. When she was ready, we registered Charlene for the test, paid GED fees and provided a taxi to the test. Charlene passed the GED at age 57.