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PHS 2018-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Gra

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Contract: 1R43CE003169-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43CE003169
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NCIPC
Solicitation Number: PA18-574
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-09-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-29
Small Business Information
Scotts Valley, CA 95066-3245
United States
DUNS: 079336099
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (831) 438-4060
Business Contact
Phone: (831) 440-2260
Research Institution

ABSTRACT Every day thousands of children in the United States are coerced into commercial sex including prostitution pornography and stripping While the perception is often that commercial sexual trafficking and exploitation of minors CSTEM is an urban problem is increasingly happening in rural communities across the U S CSTEM often remains unseen in rural communities due in part to a lack of specific trafficking or exploitation data recorded in rural communities and because CSTEM in rural settings looks very different than in an urban setting contributing to under recognition In these areas many children are trafficked by a family member or family friend in or near their own community with of familial trafficking occurring in rural areas The most common motivator for familial trafficking is the funding of illicit drug use and consequently the tragedy of the opioid crisis has also caused an increase in CSTEM in rural areas While the impact of CSTEM is growing the public health response has focused on urban areas and the emphasis and funding for rural areas experiencing trafficking has not kept pace Unlike urban areas the vast majority of professionals who come into contact with youth at risk for CSTEM in rural areas including educators and healthcare providers often have limited or no training or experience that prepares them to identify or respond to sexually exploited youth The unique presentations of CSTEM in rural areas and the needs for specific training for rural providers have created a critical gap in addressing CSTEM in the U S This Phase I SBIR project will address this critical gap by developing and testing App Delivered Training to Identify and Report the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth in Rural Settings CSTEM Rural CSTEM Rural is a customized app delivered interactive multimedia training and resource for rural professionals in education and healthcare fields to assist them in identifying and responding to victims and those at risk of CSTEM in their rural areas Phase I will test feasibility by conducting formative research interviews developing two modules of a general curriculum for county health department personnel developing and testing product prototypes of a mobile and desktop app that provide a visually engaging multimedia interactive set of training modules for those in the health field with curriculum customization by profession position and c a resource center that provides a set of resources to help respond to at risk youth that will meet their including geographically specific referrals for victim assistance and conducting a pilot evaluation in which the prototype is used by public health department staff to assess impact of the prototype on CSTEM skills knowledge and attitudes Phase II will complete development of the health department track add the complete education curriculum track complete the resource database with resources from across the United States and implement a large scale evaluation study of the effectiveness of the entire product on increasing identification and referral of rural youth who are or who are at risk of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking PUBLIC HEALTH NARRATIVE The problem of vulnerable youth entering into commercial sex trafficking and exploitation in the United States including prostitution pornography and stripping has reached epidemic proportions This victimization puts these youth at high risk for immediate and long term negative health and life outcomes including HIV STIs unintended pregnancy interpersonal violence and poor mental health among others While there has been a recent emphasis on identifying and providing services to these young victims in urban areas rural areas often due to a misperception that sexual exploitation and trafficking does not happen in rural areas do not have the resources or the training needed to help exploited youth To help combat this growing problem this project will develop a customized app delivered multimedia training for professionals in the education and healthcare fields tailored by rural area type to assist them in identifying and responding to victims and those at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual trafficking and exploitation When completed the product resulting from this project will provide a cost effective scalable method of training rural professionals that can be implemented across diverse rural settings increasing awareness and building capacity among those who serve at risk youth in rural areas ultimately reducing the number of sexually trafficked and exploited youth and consequently reducing the impact on public health

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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