October 1, 2016

Providing Safe Sleep Environments for Babies

safesleepcribSIDS Resources, Inc. located in St. Louis, is a private, not-for-profit network that connects people to programs, services and information relating to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in Missouri.  As a long time partner of the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), SIDS Resources serves as a distribution center for safe cribs in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions.

Utilizing funds from the sale of the CTF prevent child abuse license plate, SIDS Resources provides a Pack n’ Play safe crib and crib sheets benefiting low income or at-risk families with infants.  The program identifies eligible families through referrals from many surrounding community partners including Catholic Charities, St. Louis County Health Department, Family Care Health Centers, Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Center and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.  The program focuses on removing the economic barrier that families face in terms of providing a safe sleeping environment for their babies. In addition to presenting parents in need with a safe crib, community volunteers and staff members work to educate and inform families on safe sleep practices and reducing the risk of SIDS for their infants.

We spoke with Lori Behrens, Executive Director, SIDS Resources, Inc. about the importance of the partnership with CTF.

AUDIO: Behrens on CTF as a reliable funding source

She says community partners assist the program in a number of ways from letting them know who may need assistance, to lending a hand when their own resources get low.

AUDIO: Behrens on additional support


Behrens says the Safe Sleep program is the best way to inform and educate the public on safe sleep practices for children. She says the in-person contact made through the pack-n-play program offers an expanded opportunity to educate parents and caregivers.

AUDIO: Safe Sleep Pack-n-Play Distribution Program

CTF license plate marketing partner organizations throughout Missouri help promote and sell the plates to increase prevention awareness and raise funds that are returned directly back into the community to provide prevention programs that help children and families.

For more information go to SIDS Resources, Inc. or call 800-421-3511.

 

CTF Board Awards Prevention Grants

Girl holding flower pot.$2 Million Invested in Missouri to Strengthen Families & Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect!

The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Board of Directors recently awarded over $1.7 million in funding for State Fiscal Year 2017 to support 88 different organizations throughout Missouri for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and to strengthen families.  The funds were awarded after a competitive grant and review process, and will be used to support evidence-based and promising programs including home visitation, safe crib, parent education, crisis nursery, fatherhood support, sexual abuse prevention, and community collaboration. Several grants will also address training needs including Stewards of Children focusing on child sexual abuse prevention & awareness, online training for mandated reporters of abuse,  building Strengthening Families Protective Factors, and Parent Cafes’.  The CTF Board invested additional dollars in public education and awareness bringing the total in prevention funding to just over $2 million dollars for the year.   Public education campaigns focus on Strengthening Families, Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma Prevention, safe sleep environments, child safety in or around vehicles (Not Even For A Minute), emotional abuse and neglect prevention, positive parenting, realistic expectations of children and stress reduction.

Toddler holding sunglassesCTF receives funding from dedicated fees on marriage licenses and vital records, voluntary contributions designated on the Missouri State Income Tax Return, sales of the specialty CTF license plate, general donations, interest income from the Fund, and a Federal grant.  Grants are awarded for one year with the possibility of renewal for an additional four years based on the performance outcome of the program and the availability of CTF funds.  During the last three years, the grantee is required to fund an increasing proportion of the program’s cost.

Established by the Missouri General Assembly in 1983, CTF is Missouri’s non-profit foundation for child abuse and neglect prevention.  In its 33-year history, CTF has awarded over $58 million dollars of non-general revenue funds for prevention programs throughout Missouri.

CTF Prevention Grants – Alphabetical

CTF Prevention Grants by Region

Aiding in the Development of Vital Parenting Skills

YWCA St JosephParenting for Prevention increases the availability of parenting classes and works to reach parents at their cognitive level. The program has been wholey funded by CTF and offered through the YWCA of St. Joseph.  Two ten-week sessions are held to provide parents information and to help develop parenting skills necessary to raising healthy children and to decrease the risk of child abuse and neglect. One of the program’s focuses is teaching parents how to interact with their children, and helping them understand that every child has a different personality so no one tactic will work with all. The program focuses on children 2 to 12 years old.

Class topics center around understanding child development, developing positive family communications, building positive social and emotional skills in both parent and child (responsiveness, sensitivity, nurturing), discipline and appropriate behavior management, and promoting self-reliance by sharing information from community services like Parents as TeachersEarly Head StartCircle of Parents, Success by Six and others.

We spoke with Ellen Kisker, YWCA Prevention Educator, to learn more about Parenting for Prevention.

AUDIO: Ellen discusses one of the most common concerns of parents, discipline, and how the program’s materials help the parents.

AUDIO: Ellen discusses the short- and long-term goal of Parenting for Prevention.

For more information visit ywcasj.org or call Ellen at 816-232-4481.

Connecting Parents to their Babies with Operation Connect

clip from incredible years vidThe Operation Connect (formerly known as Caregiver Connections) program focuses on parenting education and parent-child attachment using The Incredible Years Parenting Series and Theraplay. This Kansas City-based program is funded in part through a grant from the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), and housed within Operation Breakthrough.

Operation Breakthrough’s mission is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving, and educational environment. Incredible Years is an evidence-based curriculum incorporating parent, teacher and child social skills training.  Theraplay is an established method for improving the parent-child relationship using the four dimensions of healthy interaction-Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge as its framework.  The program targets high-risk families, especially those with multiple risk factors.

We spoke with Brijin Gardner, Director of Clinical and Social Services for Operation Connect, about the program.

AUDIO: Brijin talks about the program’s domino effect.

The majority of families served by Operation Connect are working or in school and have inflexible work schedules, and parents who don’t have access to insurance or mental health services.

AUDIO: What are Brijin’s ultimate goals for Operation Connect?

The Center strives to support and empower the children’s families through education, advocacy, referral services, and emergency aid.

AUDIO: How Operation Connect helped one mom during a stressful time with her child.

The majority of moms don’t recognize themselves as a change agent in their child’s lives. Operation Connect equips parents with knowledge that they are a change agent in the life of their child.

AUDIO: Brijin explains her vision while creating the program and incorporating Theraplay.

For more information, please call Operation Breakthrough at 816-756-3511.

 

CTF License Plate Partner Grant Application Available

CTF-licenseplateThe Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) has released a new application for funding to market the CTF prevent child abuse license plate for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).  Since 1997, community organizations throughout Missouri have been promoting the popular specialty plate, depicting the green hand prints of a child, to increase prevention awareness and raise funds that are then directly returned back into the community for prevention programs and services.   To be considered, applications must be submitted and received with a postmark no later than Monday, April 25.  For questions, please contact CTF Program Coordinator Laura Malzner at (573) 751-5147 or by e-mail at laura.malzner@oa.mo.gov.

CTF License Plate Partner Application Packet FY 2017 (word)

CTF License Plate Partner Application Packet FY 2017 (PDF)

Providing Support to At-risk Families with Young Children

Burrell family PM-TrainingThe Healthy Steps for Families program is a collaborative effort between Burrell Behavioral Heath and the Jordan Valley Community Health Center and is based in Greene County. CTF helps fund services to at-risk pregnant women or parents with children ages 0-3. Healthy Steps for Families medical staff and Healthy Steps specialists use real world scenarios to provide families with supportive environments to address a broad array of early childhood physical and developmental concerns. The program also helps parents understand physician’s findings and instructions, and offers referrals and resources pertinent to individual family needs.

We spoke with Jeanie Beck, Clinical Social Worker at Burrell Behavioral Health about Healthy Steps for Families.

AUDIO: How CTF funding benefits Healthy Steps for Families

Healthy Steps for Families addresses the physical, emotional, intellectual growth and development of children ages 0-3.

AUDIO: Jeanie gives advice to parents wanting to be the best parent they can be

Parent participants of Healthy Steps for Families often become referral sources. Families have been added to the program due to other parents who told them about it.

AUDIO: Jeanie reflects on the successes of the program

Jeanie recommends other providers looking to establish a program like Healthy Steps for Families take part in Strong Parents, Stable Children training.

AUDIO: Jeanie shares a personal experience working with Healthy Steps for Families

For more information, contact Denise Mills, Director of Corporate Services at 417-269-7254 or visit burrellcenter.com.

 

Project Thrive Working to Strengthen Families

Great Circle’sgc-logo8 Project THRIVE is a collaborative, community-based initiative that works toward strengthening families in Adair County and select areas in Macon County who are experiencing high stress and/or other risk factors.  Services are free to eligible families as a result of a grant from the Children’s Trust Fund via funding from the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program (CBCAP) federal grant administered by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), Department of Health & Human Services.

In order to be considered for Project THRIVE, families must meet certain eligibility criteria such as: parents who are experiencing mental health or psychological disorders and have young children; parents with severe psychological disorders, substance abuse issues, or other at-risk factors that could lead to child abuse and neglect including trauma history; and many more. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, Project THRIVE can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

We spoke with Kristin Rouner, Project Thrive Coordinator about this initiative.

AUDIO: The effects of Missouri CTF’s funding on Project THRIVE

Project THRIVE has a provider network comprising a variety of agencies within Adair and Macon counties that are referral sources. When those agencies identify a family that meet their criteria, they refer them to Project THRIVE. Kristin Rouner, as coordinator, works with the larger provider network in building capacity, organizing and delivering services to families in an integrated, strength-based comprehensive way.

AUDIO: A testament of success

Project Thrive’s network of primary care providers includes mental health, social service agencies, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, local government agencies and others. Together, they are committed to working collaboratively to provide comprehensive wrap-around services to families and eliminate service duplication. Each family works with a lead agency and a family support team of providers from the network to develop and implement a family road map for achieving their stated goal(s).

AUDIO: Families supporting other families in Project THRIVE

Project THIRVE focuses on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.

AUDIO: Advice for counties wanting to provide similar services

For more information about Project THRIVE, please call Kristin Rouner at (660) 627-2463.

Building Nurturing Parenting Skills for Parents

MBCH logoThe Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH) Children and Family Ministries works with pregnant women and new parents to develop skills that will help them build strong bonds with their babies thanks to a grant from the Children’s Trust Fund. Using the evidence-based Nurturing Parents curriculum, Pregnancy Service Specialists work with parents to create a plan that promotes healthy and safe home environments, enhanced parenting skills through child development education, educational opportunities (GED, job readiness resources), and assistance with accessing concrete supports (medical care, housing, transportation). We spoke with Jennifer Garland, Pregnancy Services Specialist, MBCH, about the range of support provided to expectant parents.

AUDIO: Support for new parents

Garland says MBCH works with social service agencies in the region to bring awareness about the program to pregnant women, but they also work to meet the women where they live through print materials and word of mouth.

AUDIO: CTF funding helps support staff and parent participation in training with the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum  

The evidence based Nurturing Parents curriculum promotes home environments that are not only safe, but that enhance bonding between parents and their children.

AUDIO: Garland shares how one mother learned to build a better relationship with her children. 

This program encompasses the southeast Missouri counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Scott and Stoddard.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

5StepsSexualAbusePreventionSince 2011, the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children has brought together prosecutors, law enforcement officers, advocates and other community members who work together to address child sexual abuse. Mostly through policy and systems advocacy, the group works to make Missouri safer for children.

The task force has recognized four areas of priority. They include:

1. Standardized mandatory reporting curriculum
2. Multidisciplinary team best practices, focusing on how communities get better at investigating child sexual abuse
3. Increasing access to services for children who’ve experienced sexual abuse
4. Addressing youth with problem sexual behaviors so they don’t continue to perpetrate the behaviors throughout their lifetime

We spoke with Emily van Schenkhof, Deputy Director, Missouri KidsFirst about the task force and it’s work, and Cherisse Thibaut, Manager, Prevention and Community Engagement about mandated reporting and Stewards of Children training, which is being implemented across the state.  Both of these programs are supported, in part, by two grants from the Children’s Trust Fund.

van Schenkhof says it’s all a process, and the team mindset helps move positive change along:

van Schenkhof shares how funding from CTF helps deliver on the task force’s findings.

The task force utilizes resources across the state to help bring awareness and gain insights into what’s happening in all regions.

Thibaut says CTF funding is moving Missouri forward by helping provide education that mandated reporters truly need.

 

D2L_StewardsCaptureThe evidenced-informed Stewards of Children curriculum focuses on improving child-protective behaviors of adults that are responsible for children and is designed to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change participants’ behavior over the long-term.

Thibault says a major goal in Missouri KidsFirst’s work with Stewards of Children is to eliminate barriers that might prevent the trainings from happening, for instance, eliminating materials costs.

Thibault recommends the Stewards of Children training to any and every youth servicing organization. To learn more about the training, contact Missouri KidsFirst at 573-632-4600.

Click here to view the 5 Steps to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse flier.

Empowering Families During Stressful Times

Stressful situations can take a toll on families and sometimes parents may feel like they’ve reached their breaking point.  In those moments there are resources available to help.  One such resource is CTF grantee Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.  Since 1986, the program has made available a helpline for families who feel like they don’t have anywhere else to turn when they have an emergency or are in crisis. We spoke to DiAnne Mueller, CEO Saint Louis Crisis Nursery about what kinds of situations they see.

AUDIO: How the crisis nursery works

Once the initial crisis period is over the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery offers an after care program called Family Empowerment. Parents and caregivers are educated in critical parenting skills and basic child development issues; topics include appropriate discipline, budgeting, and job preparedness skills.

AUDIO: Mueller talks about a family helped by the crisis nursery.

The crisis nursery has many community partners that work to spread awareness about the services available.

AUDIO: Life saving services

Mueller has worked to open 5 crisis nurseries so far and says she’s happy to speak with anyone who would like to provide the service in their own community.

AUDIO: Opening a support service

You can contact the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery at 314-292-5770.