In 2011, Dr. Lois Lee, Founder & President of Children of the Night, created “Children of the Night With Out Walls” (WOW) and partnered with the National Runaway Switchboard who fields over 100,000 calls from youth and their families each year. Together they will help thousands of young people get off and stay off the streets. Dr. Lois Lee is sharing her 32 years of expertise creating and operating Children of the Night programs and her 20 year leadership directing America’s premier children’s shelter home for domestic sex-trafficked victims.
Children of the Night’s innovative, groundbreaking, trailblazing programs will produce life changing effects for American youth in their local communities and not be limited to those children who seek refuge in the Children of the Night home located in Van Nuys, California.
WOW provides Children of the Night trained, skilled, expert staff to underfunded and undeveloped shelters and their clients across the nation. WOW staff offers expertise on program development, training, administrative support, sophisticated case management including comprehensive mental health services, educational programs, legal services, the coordination of talented professional volunteers, fundraising expertise and in-kind donations to youth shelters throughout America.
WOW offers teenagers living on the streets of our cities access to birth certificates, school records, social security cards, government issued photo identification, transportation to critical social services, case management including comprehensive mental health services, résumé preparation, job placement and educational services including academic assessments, preparation, tutoring and support services to test for the GED (General Education Diploma). Children of the Night offers innovative math and reading programs, a patented keyboarding program (Keyboarders Gone Ballistic), life skills curriculum, a parenting class designed specifically for teen moms and dads, access to college and funding for college books and school supplies.
WOW is a cost effective means of providing resources to America’s young people who are forced to live on the streets and the numbers of children and young people who may be rescued by this collaborative effort is only limited by the amount of financial resources dedicated to this program.
WOW will leave a permanent and indelible mark on the standard of care for adolescents who are forced to live outside of their natural homes.
These efforts will change the treatment of American adolescents who have suffered horrific childhoods and are challenged in achieving successful adult lives.
WOW means children and young people NO LONGER have to be
under 18 years of age to receive our comprehensive social services.
Children of the Night continues to lead the revolution of real life changing services for teens forced to live outside of their homes.
While the headlines scream for the needs of America’s sex trafficked children, vigilant law enforcement action to arrest and prosecute pimp/traffickers has resulted in child prostitutes spending time in jail as “material witnesses” because they are needed to testify against a pimp/trafficker and because social service programs have failed to address the needs required for the adequate care and supervision of these traumatized youth.
As a consequence, many children are refusing residential care for fear of being locked up by the police as witnesses. Many of these children have told their social workers, probation officers, shelter child care workers and parents that they are willing to accept WOW services but not residential services. These young people have expressed their desire to continue their education and escape life on the streets.
In the last 30 years, the United States Government has only been willing to provide minimal funds for bricks and mortar for children forced to live on the streets and some funds for support staff-typically made up of people who also grew up on the streets.
Youth living in shelters across America are not receiving the educational services or mental health services required to permanently remove them from life on the streets. Most youth shelters are funded by the federal government and limit a young person’s shelter stay to 21 days.
Our shelter partners and detention centers report that no one is providing a continuum of care for youth when they leave detention centers, foster homes or are living in shelters, motels or on the streets. WOW is the first program taking comprehensive educational and mental health services to the streets of our cities. Children of the Night WOW provides those services between and during their stays in shelters, motels or on the streets.
When and if our government is able to repair America’s broken social services system and rescue newborns from drug addicted, abusive and other unfit parents, child prostitution will be significantly reduced. But until that happens, Children of the Night will remain committed to our children, picking up the pieces of the shattered lives of young people who have been abused, discarded and forced to do unspeakable things with their little bodies.
The National Runaway Switchboard works with Children of the Night WOW to identify shelters throughout the nation who need Children of the Night WOW services to help their programs grow and develop, to help train their case managers and provide comprehensive mental health and educational services for the clients they serve.
A Children of the Night Program Executive travels the United States offering case management and educational services to shelter staff and their clients.
Recognizing the plight of underfunded and undeveloped shelters, Children of the Night WOW does not charge a fee for services.
While Children of the Night does not endorse or offer brand recognition to other programs, Children of the Night will list shelters and other youth programs receiving WOW services and those programs may state in their program and publicity that they receive Case Management Services and Program Support from Children of the Night WOW.
Child care staff throughout the nation are confronted with difficult social service issues – particularly mental health. Schizophrenia is not uncommon among young people who have been forced to live on the streets and often times a psychotic break results in a young person being ousted from their homes and forced to live on the streets. Child care staff in existing youth shelters lack the sophisticated skills and resources required to provide psychiatric assessments, psychiatric treatment, access to existing social security disability benefits and mental health placements. Appropriate, comprehensive intervention and placement services for a schizophrenic or other severely mentally ill person is a 6 month to 1 year process. Expert Children of the Night staff are available by telephone 24/7 to assist caseworkers and young people with this process. Our goal is to teach and train child care staff, working in youth shelters, how to do this by holding their hand, providing critical resources not available in their programs and seeing them through this long arduous process required to permanently remove a young person from life on the street.
Children of the Night educational programs will also be available to youth living in shelters throughout America. With the support of their local shelter case worker, youth will be able to access our educational programs via the internet for academic assessments, GED tutoring, registration for the GED and support services to GED testing.
Youth living on the streets of America or in motels or other unstable situations may also access WOW services on their own by contacting the Children of the Night hotline.