Child abuse coalition fighting human trafficking and child abuse in Douglas County
The Up2UsNow Child Abuse Prevention Coalition continues to fight child abuse and human trafficking in Douglas County as well as the opiate drug abuse problem. Roseburg Police Chief Gary Klopfenstein and Tracy Livingston of Compass Behavioral Health, who are members of the coalition, talked about the efforts to combat those issues on as recent Talking Health program on News Radio 1240 KQEN, hosted by Lisa Platt.
The following is an edited version of that interview.
Lisa: Tracy, could you talk about what the Up2UsNow Child Abuse Coalition does?
Tracy: The coalition has about 33 agencies participating and they collect data from law enforcement to find out what’s happening in the community, and then really work on providing outreach and connection with our services, and partner on training and projects.
Some of the bigger projects include the Opiate Task Force and the Human Trafficking Task Force. An exciting new project is the Rural Community Initiative, where groups are focusing on preventing child abuse through collaborative efforts.
Lisa: Gary, what are you finding that are the needs of our Douglas County residents?
Gary: The naloxone or narcan training has been really important for us, from a public safety perspective. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had someone by the ADAPT building, overdose. When the officer arrived on the scene with a dose of naloxone, the officer was able to administer chest depressions and give him the dose. He came to, survived and was able to get further care when the medics arrived, but without that, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s really important.
Naloxone is a nasal spray that we can administer to someone who is in a deep overdose and almost deceased, only on downers like heroin or methadone, or one of those that bring people down. It basically negates the effects of what is bringing them down, kind of like an adrenaline surge that gets their body back up and gets them going until medical help can arrive.
Lisa: The Opiate Task Force has also been doing some opiate take-back programs?
Gary: We recently started a take-back program at the police department, so we can accept prescription drugs that are yours, or not yours, no questions asked. You come in the front door and there’s a little mailbox, you pull it open and drop them in. You don’t need to talk to anybody, so it’s completely confidential. We want our community members to discard them safely and where we can just dispose of them properly.
Tracy: The Up2UsNow coalition also supports two drug take-back events each year. These are county wide events in a couple of places where people can come and dispose of their prescription drugs.
Lisa: How has the Up2UsNow been involved in the human trafficking efforts?
Tracy: Up2UsNow’s involvement in human trafficking began in 2015, when we began of hearing of cases occurring in Douglas County. Up2UsNow sponsors community awareness events such as movie screenings, roundtable discussions, and provides a ton of training to schools, students, community agencies, anybody who asks for it. We like to train them so they understand what to look for and what the effects of human trafficking are, and how it affects our community.
They’re working on some new projects, motel and convenient store outreach, and community education events, and then agency-specific training. They’re also looking at protocol, and streamlining the protocol that will help identify victims and survivors, along with working to develop a statewide directory and connection to care, too.
Lisa: People want to know what we’re doing in the rural communities, and you mentioned the rural volunteer team?
Tracy: The RVT is a community group that’s made up of community members that really focus on the prevention of child abuse in their community through their collaborative efforts. we have a few key communities outside of Roseburg that are moving forward with getting things in place and looking at their needs assessments and really deciding what the need is in their community.
So it’s a grass roots effort to look at child abuse in their community and prevention efforts outside of Roseburg proper, so that’s exciting.
A great way to get information is through the website at www.up2usnow.org or search on Facebook under Up2UsNow Child Abuse Prevention Coalition or the Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force
Gary: With the advent of the internet, human trafficking has really broadened and has really found its way to all corners of the earth, even in our rural areas, so we’re working hard to try to combat this issue as well.
Lisa: What does a Wraparound care coordinator do?
Tracy: It’s a referral-based program for youth who have challenging and emotional behavioral needs. The vision of this program is that those needs can best be served in the home and in their own communities using a team approach with the family at its center.
A Wraparound care coordinator really acts as a facilitator and helps the family create a team of people who are probably already a part of their lives.
We have over 65 in the program, and it’s been effective. It’s a nice way for a youth and family to be at the center for services and have a voice in deciding what’s going to work for them and then be guided and supported by a team of professionals.
Lisa: What kind of services are you connecting the family or the teen to?
Tracy: The wraparound services are really the process that identifies the need, so the services can range from therapy, further assistance at school, it could be drug counseling, helping them navigate the child welfare system or the probation system.
Lisa: What impact do you think these services are making on the youth in our community today?
Tracy: It’s really important to teach youth how to advocate effectively for themselves, and how to work within the system to get their needs met. A lot of times the system can be a barrier, but if you learn how to communicate and advocate, you can turn that around and use it for your success.
Lisa: If people are interested in this service, how do they get it and who do they contact?
Tracy: They can always contact the main Compass number, 541-440-3532, and ask for Wraparound.