County DSS launches Lilypad, Safe Harbour program for teens

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 January 2022 at 8:44 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Department of Social Services is launching the Lilypad, a Safe Harbour program that is designed to be a safe place for teens (12-18 years of age).

The Lilypad is a place for teens to land where they are supported and educated prior to launching into their future. The program will be run by the Department of Social Services staff with guest speakers and presenters.

The goal of the Lilypad is to identify youth who have been trafficked, sexually exploited, or who are at risk of victimization and to meet identified service needs of these youth.

“Orleans County DSS is aware that young people are faced with incredible challenges today,” DSS said in a press release. “As a county we would like to be able to provide information and resources to Orleans County teens about Sex Trafficking, and Sexual Exploitation, which includes online safety, grooming, commercial exploitation, etc.”

In addition to providing education and awareness, the Lilypad will be providing lessons in life skills to promote a strong foundation to help children launch into their future.

The Lilypad will be located within the Hoag Library from 4 to 6 p.m. on the following dates: March 22, March 29, April 5, April 12, April 19 and April 26. Advance registration is required.  A raffle ticket will be earned for each session that a teen completes for an opportunity to win a 14-day trip to Outward Bound.

Please contact Sharon Nenni at DSS for more information, or to register your teen, contact or 585-589-3136.

If you suspect that a child or adult is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.