Bring a Courage House to Your Area
There are currently two prototyping options. One is to be a CWW “corporate” home and the other is to be a Courage House licensee similar to a franchise.
The corporate homes come under the 501(c)(3) of CWW and are a part of the organization. As such the homes must operate and be in compliance with all company by-laws, policies, and procedures. Corporate homes operate as a division on the CWW organizational chart reporting to the Regional Vice President if located in the U.S. and to the International VP if outside the U.S. The corporate home is a part of CWW’s corporate budget approved by the CWW Board of Directors. The corporate homes do not operate autonomously and are not responsible for raising their entire annual operating budget but are expected to fundraise in their local, geographic area. Staff and volunteers work within a defined geographical region to execute the vision and the mission of the organization, raising funds towards the entire mission of the organization, not just specific to the home. All fundraising will be done under the auspices of CWW after papers are ﬁled with the respective state or government-authorizing agency. Designated funds are only authorized for the purchase of land. Corporate homes utilize the name, programs, curriculums and intellectual property of the organization at no charge since they operate as a division of the organization.
The licensed homes will require a licensee to set up a separate 501(c)(3) complete with a separate board of directors. Then an initial franchise fee and ongoing monthly management fees are required to cover use of the name Courage House, intellectual property, marketing, accounting, communication, staff and volunteer training materials, program curriculum, certiﬁcation and on-going oversight to ensure the highest level of care for the population served at Courage House. The franchisee will be given the license to use the Courage House name and program for all their fundraising and marketing efforts. Licensed Courage House homes operating under the Courage House name will be autonomous but accountable to the systems, policies, procedures and curriculum developed by CWW to again ensure consistent, quality care for this victim population and the best representation of the CWW name and Courage House brand. The licensee must raise their own annual operating budget and any funds needed to purchase land. Oversight and parameters will also be given to licensee with regard to communications, marketing and fund-raising to ensure a cohesive and consistent message within the community and a strategic representation of the CWW brand. The licensee is a very important part of the culture, vision, and family of CWW. The expectation is that each market will engage the community by developing an annual marketing plan specific to the geographical location and in concert with CWW business and marketing plan. CWW is invested in the success of each Courage House whether corporate or a licensee, as it furthers the mission to rescue and restore more children. CWW’s chairman of the board or their appointee is also a member of each Courage House licensee board of directors.
In both models, Courage House staff and volunteers will be hired from the local community to honor that community’s unique culture. Staff will be trained with CWW curriculum and held to organizational standards. The ﬁrst two key stafﬁng positions in a market are the Courage House Executive Director who manages the operation of the home and CWW Community Development/Resource Director, who engages the community, builds a volunteer base and directs local marketing and fundraising efforts.
Opening an aftercare home for this population is an enormous undertaking – emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and ﬁnancially.
To open a Courage House an intensive and extensive foundation within the community and organization must ﬁrst be laid. Below are steps CWW uses to determine a corporate location and ones you can begin taking if you would like to bring a Courage House to your city:
- Ascertain the severity of the sex trafﬁcking problem in the city, state and/or country by interviewing local law enforcement, the FBI, ICE, child protective services, juvenile probation and other local NGO’s working with the population.
- Discover if the unique needs of this population are being met and determine what gaps, if any, there are in services. Determine if a long-term residential home exclusively for this victim population exists in the community, and if not, is one needed. Juvenile justice leaders and law enforcement personnel are a good resource to determine the need.
- Review any state and/or county laws to determine the level of protection for these child victims and if they are even deﬁned as victims of human trafﬁcking.
- Review local child welfare regulations to determine what umbrella is available to open a long-term residential home for highly traumatized minor children, and if there is any local funding associated with that endeavor or population.
- Attend an orientation session at the child welfare department to determine the state’s requirements and application process for opening a home.
- Determine the local community’s degree of awareness about this insidious crime against children and the extent of their passion to become active partners in seeing them rescued and restored by holding awareness meetings and inviting law enforcement to convey the problem in the area.
- Meet with key community and faith-based leaders to determine the ﬁnancial commitment of the community to sustain a home in the area.
- Comprise a community advisory committee to navigate the often difﬁcult and complicated process of obtaining a state license and county approval(s) and community support.
- Research land opportunities that are rural, protected, and large open space.
- Research county permit and approval processes for locating and/or renovating a home to be used for highly traumatized teen girls in that community.
- Begin fundraising efforts for land.