Project Intersect is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leading public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
Project Intersect is an initiative of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NSTSN), which is also funded by SAMHSA. The NCSTN was established by Congress in 2000 to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States. The NCTSN consists of members from hospitals, universities, and community based programs around the country that are involved in training, service delivery, product development, data collection, evaluation, public policy and awareness efforts.
The focus of Project Intersect is the delivery of trauma-focused treatment to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC). Commercially sexually exploited children and adolescents are at very high risk for a broad range of adverse consequences and negative mental health outcomes, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use problems. In recognition of the significant negative impact of commercial sexual exploitation and the critical need for high quality trauma-specific services for this population, Project Intersect draws upon existing trauma-focused, evidence-based practices, as well as knowledge of the complex needs of those who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation. Combining these existing practices and knowledge to serve our clients and train mental health providers throughout Georgia, Project Intersect continues to build and sustain a statewide network of therapists trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), as well as a separate intensive training in CSEC-specific applications of TF-CBT. Treatment is then provided to clients by therapists who have participated in the trainings. In addition, Project Intersect seeks to facilitate training, trauma-informed skill development and increased CSEC awareness for professionals working in systems that intersect with CSEC at high rates, including Juvenile Justice, Foster Care, and Homeless/Runaway youth-serving organizations.
The primary goals of this project are to reduce negative mental health outcomes and improve positive outcomes for youth who have been Commercially Sexually Exploited, as well as enhance knowledge and skill development for youth and family-serving systems that frequently intersect with CSEC and at-risk youth.
This project seeks to:
- Build and sustain a skilled network of therapists providing trauma-focused treatment with CSEC victims and families
- Enhance Juvenile Justice workforce development by improving knowledge and awareness of traumatic stress, trauma-informed care, and trauma-focused treatment
- Increase safe and supportive foster care placements through increased knowledge and awareness of traumatic stress, trauma-informed care, and trauma-focused treatment
- Increase access to trauma-informed care and trauma-focused treatment in community agencies serving homeless/runaway and LGBTQ youth
Project Intersect provides outpatient therapy services at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy to youth in the Atlanta area who have been commercially sexually exploited. The Project utilizes TF-CBT as the primary intervention framework. TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment that is effective with sexually abused and traumatized children and adolescents and has been used successfully with CSEC.
Commercially sexually exploited children and adolescents and their non-offending caregivers participate in at least weekly 60 or 90-minute sessions. Therapy services are provided free of charge at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. Gas or MARTA Cards are provided to offset transportation costs. The Center is located at:
Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
For more Information or to make a referral for services at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, please contact:
678-904-2880 X 233
678-904-2880 X 232