May is National Foster Care Awareness month and one Texas-based non-profit is helping to provide a hope and a future for some of the most vulnerable children in society.

 Hope Rising, a 501c3 non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking. Founded in 2012 Hope Rising has expanded throughout the Southwest United States and is currently headquartered outside of Houston, Texas.

 Hope Rising and its volunteers serve on the front lines helping to rescue women and children from the human trafficking industry. Within the first 48 hours after rescue, Hope Rising facilitates  immediate medical care and counseling. After immediate medical needs have been met, Hope Rising takes a long-term, holistic approach to rehabilitation by placing minors with long-term foster care parents who receive over 65 hours of pre-service training.

 Sherri Clement, Founder and Executive Director of Hope Rising acknowledges that being a foster parent to children who have survived sex trafficking, exploitation and abuse is not for the faint of heart. It requires a calling and a commitment, but as current foster parents can attest, the joy comes when you see the broken and battered girls transform into women who know their worth and purpose and begin to live fulfilling lives.

“At Hope Rising, we take a long-term approach to healing; focusing on restoration and recovery,” says Clement. “Our process includes specialized care foster homes with a robust aftercare program.  We currently have three homes of our own and we also license other foster homes. One key element to our onsite program has been equine therapy. The girls develop an attachment to horses that does not necessarily come as easy with adults.”

Clement understands that fostering can seem like a daunting task, that’s why Hope Rising trains foster parents on how to use trauma-informed care to help the children in their care, push through the pain and anger and achieve lasting recovery. Hope Rising also provides ongoing trainings, respite care and wrap around services. Foster families have immediate access to an on-call case manager for emergencies. Foster children receive free medical care and therapy, and foster parents receive a daily reimbursement to help pay for their foster child’s living expenses.

Hope Rising understands that creating awareness is essential to intervention & prevention of human trafficking, that’s why one of their core components is educating and raising awareness through means of the internet, training events, fundraising and speaking engagements at schools, churches, etc. Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer or fostering opportunities through Hope Rising can visit their website at www.hoperisingministries.org .

 FAQ’s

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.

 Prostitution and Slavery: The distinctions existing between sex slavery and prostitution are false. The idea that women are prostituted by choice ignores that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a victim of slavery and a victim of prostitution.

 The Cause of Sex Slavery:

In societies where women and girls are undervalued, not valued, or objectified, they are at greater risk for being abused, trafficked, and coerced into sex slavery.

 How are Women Trafficked?

Some are lured with offers of legitimate and legal work, marriage, educational opportunities, a modeling career or a better life, while others are kidnapped and sold.

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