STATE DISMISSES NUMEROUS CITATIONS AGAINST COURAGE HOUSE
ROCKLIN – Courage Worldwide said today that after the appeal process and a positive programming conference with state officials, the organization is in good standing with state regulators and plans to rehire and train new staff to reopen Courage House immediately.
The state has dismissed three program citations and the organization has appealed the remaining ones, noting the state’s prior approval of all Courage House programs and policies.
The organization is pleased to announce they will resume accepting girls after staff is rehired and trained, since state officials agreed cell phones can be dangerous to the residents and staff at Courage House. Courage House policies can now deny the use of cell phones and other equipment dangerous to the girls and/or their recovery on a case-by-case basis.
The Courage Worldwide Board of Directors said:
“The population we serve is extremely unique and often existing state regulations regarding the care of minor children do not take into consideration their complex trauma and past association with criminals and the dangerous world of human trafficking.
“We are gratified that the state has granted a number of our appeals and has agreed cell phones pose a real danger to the girls in our care since they link these vulnerable children back to the people who trafficked them. The cell phone is the preferred mechanism of the trafficker to market and sell under-age girls on the internet. Our organization will continue to challenge and appeal any regulations we feel endanger the children we serve or the staff who serve them.
“We are excited to resume serving girls later this year after we rehire and train appropriate staff. All of our fundraising efforts will be focused on recruiting, hiring and training qualified staff. The state agreed that our pause on accepting new residents was wise in light of new licensing that will allow Courage House to now function as a Short Term Residential Treatment Program (STRTP) instead of a Group Home. ”
The organization, which operates 24-hour residential homes in Tanzania and Northern California as well as an extensive program to educate communities about sex trafficking issues, decided to temporarily close its Northern California site in mid-June as it worked to meet new California licensing requirements, hire staff who meet the new requirements while appealing program citations cited by the state that the organization felt endanger residents and staff.
The Northern California 52 acre property currently has beds for 6 girls with a campus plan to build ten cottages for a total of 60 residents. Currently, Courage Worldwide has completed 85% of the county permitting process to begin construction on the first cottage by year end. The Tanzania home is currently serving 6 girls, with a capacity to serve 12. Courage Worldwide anticipates both homes being at capacity by year end since they have had over 350 requests for placement since opening. Courage House Northern California and Tanzania have been fully operational for 5 years, opening in 2011 for girls age 11 to 17, providing round-the-clock treatment services 365 days a year. Its program has received national recognition and to date over 65 girls have called Courage House home.
Though Courage House Nor Cal paused its residential operations for several months, the organization has been fully operational continuing its extensive education, advocacy and outreach programs as well as support for former residents of its home here in the Sacramento region.