The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA) is a small, independent nonprofit working to improve the lives of young people around the world and to reduce the vulnerability of youth to forms of severe exploitation. It was founded in New York City in 1999 to respond to the gap in programming and services for vulnerable adolescents, such as youth in foster care, orphans, and victims of trafficking. Currently based in Chicago, IOFA works in partnership with local service providers to develop and implement holistic programs targeting all stages of risk and exploitation, from the point of prevention to the need for effective response.
We’re a group of practitioners in the fields of social work, public health, public policy, and law working collaboratively to improve the lives of young people by addressing critical and emerging issues affecting vulnerable adolescents around the world. Our vision is for a world where adolescents and youth are able to exercise their human rights and to realize their full potential as positive and productive members of society without fear of exploitation, violence, or neglect.
IOFA’s mission is to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable adolescents worldwide by developing innovative programs and solutions.
We accomplish our mission by:
- building institutional capacity to address complex child and adolescent welfare issues
- working holistically to coordinate stakeholders in social service, law enforcement, the courts, healthcare, and other systems
- advancing evidence-based program design and groundbreaking research
- developing scalable and replicable project models
- operating with minimal infrastructure to maximize local ownership