youthSpark, Inc.

Igniting Justice, Inspiring Change

Atlanta, GA   |  www.youth-spark.org

Mission

youthSpark's mission is to advocate for children who need legal and adult protection in abusive and exploitative situations. Our vision is world where no girl or boy is a product that can be bought, sold, or abused. Strategically located inside the Fulton County Juvenile Justice Center--the largest in the Southeastern U.S.--youthSpark's Youth Services Center provides life-changing services and advocacy for Atlanta-area youth who are exploited, abused, or at-risk.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Ms. Jennifer Swain

Main address

395 Pryor Street SW Suite 2117

Atlanta, GA 30312 USA

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Formerly known as

Juvenile Justice Fund (JJF)

EIN

58-2556130

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

youthSpark's Youth Services Center

youthSpark's Youth Services Center uses trauma-informed and evidence-based practices to provide a vital safety net of wrap-around services to youth through a cost-efficient, collaborative services model. Each day, we work with boys, girls, and LGBTQ youth, ages 12-17, who are in need of legal and adult protection. Our key objectives
for the Center are to 1) increase school attendance, 2) decrease running away, and 3) provide
group therapy and court advocacy to put youth on a positive track of personal growth and self-sufficiency. The Center is designed to provide early intervention services to increase youth’s wellbeing, health, reduce vulnerabilities, and build relationships with positive adult role models.

Population(s) Served

The overall objectives for the Youth Services Center include: (1) screening for current and unresolved prior exposure to abuse and exploitation; (2) providing case-managing advocates who mentor and oversee services for the Center’s youth; (3) creating service referrals to trained, credentialed partners who are positioned to address individual and family vulnerabilities; and (4) providing funding to cover gaps and shortfalls in connecting youth with needed services. Some of the Center's youth receive VOICES early intervention services, which helps protect high-risk youth from sex trafficking perpetrators.

Population(s) Served

In order to reduce and eliminate youth sex trafficking, consequences for buyers must be increased. Deterring buyers and would-be buyers through both social and legal strategies combine to reduce demand at the macro-level. youthSpark works with and trains law enforcement and prosecutors to shift efforts towards increasing the legal costs of trafficking and exploiting. This means enhancing legal penalties, increasing buyer arrest rates, and recognizing that transactional sex is not victimless, and that exploitation harms youth, families, and local communities. To encourage social accountability at the micro-level, youthSpark has launched DemandTracker.org to deter individuals from engaging in harmful and illegal sex purchasing behaviors.

Population(s) Served

As an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization housed inside the Fulton County Juvenile Courthouse, we are uniquely positioned to support and advocate on behalf of court-involved youth. We partner with the Court to develop innovative programs, provide critical services to youth and their families, and more.

Population(s) Served

We have a strong track record of helping to shape and advocate for passage of strategic legislation that reduces the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Georgia. We believe that advocacy coalitions and partnerships are not only effective, but critically important for protecting our youth. We participate in and help lead Georgia's Anti-Trafficking Council.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Innovation Technology Award 2007

TechBridge

Atlanta Benefits Humana Spirit Award 2007

Humana

Community Builder Award 2008

The Home Depot Foundation

Empowerment Award 2009

Junior League of Atlanta

Sue Wieland Embracing Possibilities Award 2009

Atlanta Women's Foundation

Financials

youthSpark, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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youthSpark, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/05/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Sharon Hill

Georgia State University, Professor