What We Do


San Diego Youth Services STARS (Surviving Together, Achieving and Reaching for Success) program empowers survivors to leave sexual exploitation and trafficking by providing emotional support to develop their inner strengths, improve their self-esteem and identify their dreams. We promote healing through relationships and a sense of community through our client centered, trauma informed services.

Last year, STARS helped 130 survivors of human trafficking.

Youth participating in I CARE

Supportive Services

Case Management

  • Services help to identify goals and create support around recovery from trafficking, physical and mental health, independent living skills, and increasing self-sufficiency.
  • Support includes detention outreach, court representation and advocacy, health appointments, applying for benefits, housing, obtaining legal documents, enrolling in school, job searching and exercise.
  • Referrals and connection to mental health care, school, health, drug and alcohol treatment and housing.

Therapy and Mental Health Services

  • Individual and family therapy for all minor victims of human trafficking (labor and sex) and adult (18-24) survivors of domestic sex trafficking.
  • Referral and connection to mental health care either through STARS or a partner agency.

Detention Outreach

  • Services while survivor is in custody depending on location, including emotional support, advocacy and establishing goals and a support plan upon release.

STARS Survivor Support Group

  • Weekly support group.
  • Drop-in structure for young women who need a flexible group structure without an attendance policy.
  • Counseling and peer support on topics like relationships and boundary setting, recruitment, vulnerabilities, commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, safe coping, self-esteem, health, trauma, recovery and goal setting.

Peer Support Services

  • Utilizing lived experience, the Peer Support Partner offer a voice, perspective and validation to survivors and helps improve social functioning, reduce substance use and improve overall quality of life.

Community Trainings

  • Trainings on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking. Trainings are tailored to the requesting party’s needs.


Laura McLean
(619) 993-8050 / lmclean@sdyouthservices.org

Confidential location.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm

“Therapy taught me to love myself and never give up, that I am beautiful and I can do this. They believe in me.” – Survivor, Age 19