The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides numerous resources for child abuse and neglect prevention, including the 2014 Prevention Resource Guide entitled Making New Connections. The Resource Guide is created annually to support community-based child abuse prevention professionals in their work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being of children and families. Others including policymakers, parent educators, family support workers, health care providers, child care providers, teachers, mentors, program administrators, and clergy, will also find this resource helpful. The 2014 edition includes the following chapters: Protective Factors Approaches to Promoting Well-Being, Working With Families Using the Protective Factors, Engaging Your Community, Protecting Children, Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers, and Resources.
Project Aware is a school and community based sexual abuse prevention education program, provided through the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Kansas City and supported by the Children’s Trust Fund. The free program educates children, parents, school staff and interested community members throughout Jackson, Platte, Clay and Cass Counties. Project aware teaches pre-k through 5th grade students critical information about body safety, safe and unsafe touches, how to identify a trusted adult to tell and that they have a right to tell. The program also trains parents and teachers on how to create a safe environment for children, and provide education on the caregivers role in sexual abuse prevention. Children with developmental disabilities are also served through Project Aware. We spoke with Mary Hopkins, Education and Outreach Specialist, about the program.
Many parents face the decision about whether or not to leave the kids in the car while they run a quick errand, in the name of convenience. But this seemingly innocent act can turn deadly in just seconds. It’s important that all parents and caregivers realize that it is never safe to leave a child in or around vehicles, Not Even For A Minute! In addition to temperatures that can skyrocket inside a vehicle, leaving children susceptible to heat stroke, there are other dangers. They include backovers, frontovers, power window accidents, trunk entrapment, vehicles set into motion, car jacking and abduction. It’s important for parents and caregivers to remember that most of these things can happen very quickly.
In addition to making sure the kids go with you when you leave the vehicle, follow these tips to ensure they don’t use the vehicle as a play place when you’re at home or elsewhere:
- Always put your keys in a safe and secure place.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even at home, and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same. Unlocked cars pose a risk to children who are naturally curious and often fearless.
- Teach your children the dangers of a car and let them know it is not a toy or playground.
- Establish a routine of checking the back seat every time you exit the car to ensure no one is left behind. Don’t overlook sleeping infants.
- Place your child’s diaper bag or a small toy in the front seat to serve as a constant, visible reminder of you child’s presence in the car.
- Place your purse, briefcse or other personal item in the back wth the child to give you an additional reason to check the back seat.
- Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare as scheduled.
- Try to plan ahead when you have errands. Run errands when your spouse, trusted neighbor or friend can watch your child.
- Remember to use drive-through convenience provided by banks, dry cleaners, phamacies, restaurants and other businesses.
- Use your debit or credit card at the gas pump.
- When a child is missing, check vehicles and trunks immediately.
- If you see an unnattended child in a car, call 911 immediately.
To help spread this critical safety message, CTF offers several ‘Not Even For A Minute’ public education materials. These are available at no cost in hard copy and download (pdf) and include a poster and rack card (pdf) with helpful tips and reminders.
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) welcomes Michelle Crockett, Carthage, to its Board of Directors. She was recently appointed to the Board by Governor Jay Nixon. Currently the director of talent acquisition for Leggett & Platt, Inc., Crockett previously was executive director of Barceda Families, a non-profit agency providing child abuse prevention, intervention and family support services. Crockett also taught in the Lamar R-I School District for 10 years. “I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to serve on the Children’s Trust Fund Board of Directors. It is an outstanding foundation dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children across the state of Missouri,” said Crockett. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
The CTF Board of Directors is comprised of twenty-one members of whom seventeen public members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. In addition, four members are from the Missouri Legislature, including two members from the Missouri Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem and two members from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House.
PATCH, which stands for Parents and Their Children, of Chillicothe, is a non-profit organization that helps children, whose mothers are incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Center, keep the connection during the time that they’re separated. The visits take place in a home-like setting, over 4 hours. They are supervised by PATCH staff or volunteers. The visits help to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect when the incarcerated parent is reunified with their child(ren).
PATCH also provides required parenting classes to mothers. The women complete ten classes over a five week period through the parent education course Turning Points. Additional visits may be earned through on-going participation in PATCH Parent Support Group meetings. CTF provides grant funding for the PATCH program. We spoke with Barb Burton, Program Director, about PATCH and how it works to help build and maintain strong family relationships during the incarceration period and beyond.
AUDIO: Burton describes PATCH visits and describes the program’s eligibility requirements.
AUDIO: Burton describes how PATCH has impacted mothers.
AUDIO: Burton reflects on the long-term benefits the program can have on children.
AUDIO: Burton shares the benefits the program has seen since receiving CTF funding.
Last month Governor Jay Nixon presented a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Missouri. Over thirty individuals joined the Governor in his Capitol office for the ceremony including Representative Jill Schupp from the Missouri House, Children’s Trust Fund Board members, state division directors, child advocates, service providers and children. Many individuals present were members of the Missouri Prevention Partners (MPP) Coalition, a consortium of agencies, organizations and individuals who provide leadership to reduce child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities. Thank you Governor Nixon, to all who participated and to those who made Child Abuse Prevention Month a huge success!
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) recently presented the 2014 Richard P. Easter Award to Trooper Patrick D. Sublette on April 25 at the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Office of Drug & Crime Control in Jefferson City.
Trooper Sublette is a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He is a computer technology specialist and a skilled investigator of child exploitation cases. Trooper Sublette was instrumental in redeveloping the Digital Forensics Investigative Unit (DFIU) to allow more proactive investigations and developed an innovative case management database to permit an increased caseload. He received the award before his family, fellow officers, peers and other department members during the appreciation ceremony, which included presentations from:
Ronald Replogle, Colonel of the Missouri State Highway Patrol
Rodney Jones, Chief of the State Technical Assistance Team (STAT)
John Pehle, State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Investigator
- Kirk Schreiber, Children’s Trust Fund Director
The CTF Board of Directors established this award in honor of the late Richard P. Easter, former State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Chief, who is remembered for his commitment and leadership in promoting statewide prevention efforts to better protect Missouri’s children. CTF presents the award each year to a distinguished law enforcement officer in Missouri for exemplary contributions to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Columbia’s Fun City Youth Academy’s Connecting Families with Tools for Living program supports families in their efforts to lead healthy and productive lives, as well as find support when needed. Fun City Youth Academy has evolved over the years from a safe, supervised program for unattended children, to include cultural enrichment activities and to engage area youth and their parents in academic, cultural and recreational programs that promote academic achievement, self respect, and social responsibility, as well as link families to services and opportunities. The program offers both reading and math curricula and, most recently, developed a partnership with the Columbia Public Schools for an 8 week summer school session. The program uses the Strengthening Families Framework and the Building Strong Families curriculum. We spoke with Program Director Consuela Johnson about Fun City and how it works to enhance the lives of those it serves.
University of Missouri’s Office of Social & Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA) along with the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) recently released the KIDS COUNT in Missouri 2013 Data Book documenting the status of children in all 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. The annual publication is a collaborative initiative of the The Annie E. Casey Foundation, OSEDA, CTF and many other public and private organizations from across the state. Annie Casey recently announced that The Family and Community Trust (FACT) is the newest KIDS COUNT grantee in Missouri for 2014. FACT is a non-profit organization supporting 20 community partnerships around the state whose mission is to find solutions to improving the lives of the families and children in their communities.
The online resource provides information on measures of child well-being covering areas such as health, education, financial security, juvenile justice and child protection. The 2013 data finds that during the most recent reporting period, Missouri made improvements in seven of the key KIDS COUNT indicators including a births to moms without a high school diploma, low birth weight infants, infant mortality, teen violent deaths, percent of annual high school dropouts, and births to teens. Three indicators worsened – students enrolled in free/reduced lunch, child abuse/neglect and family assessments and out-of-home placements.
Data for the report is compiled from more than 80 federal, state, county and municipal sources by OSEDA. Primary funding for the project is provided by Annie E. Casey and the Children’s Trust Fund.
Kids Count Executive Summary
Understanding the Data (including Minority Profile)
2013 Databook with County Profiles
2013 Databook without County Profiles
April is Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Month both nationally and here in Missouri. This year’s theme focuses on, “Making Meaningful Connections.” Many communities around the state are gearing up for events and activities scheduled throughout the month to emphasize the critical importance of preventing child abuse and neglect and keeping children safe. Go Blue Day for Missouri’s kids is scheduled for Friday, April 11. We hope you will join thousands of Missourians on that day in wearing blue to promote the safety and well being of Missouri’s kids and the importance of child abuse prevention. To learn how to support meaningful and measurable change in children’s well-being, and engage families and communities in the prevention of child maltreatment, you can:
- Visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website to find useful resources.
- Download the 2014 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections and learn how to strengthen families using the protective factors.
- Access dozens of tip sheets—in English and Spanish—that can be distributed to parents and caregivers. There are two new tip sheets this year titled “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse” and “Making Healthy Connections With Your Family.”
- Bookmark three activity calendars—one each for prevention programs, parents, and community partners—and discover ways to integrate activities related to the protective factors into Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.
- View the prevention video gallery, which features videos from national child abuse prevention partners. Share these videos via email and social media to raise awareness among your networks.
- Download and post Child Abuse Prevention Month widgets to your website to help promote the initiative.
- Spread the word with the online media toolkit, which provides traditional and new media strategies to help your organization or community partnerships raise awareness about events, reach potential supporters, and build relationships.
- Participate in Go Blue Day, Friday, April 11 by wearing something blue (the official color of prevention) to support Missouri’s kids.
- Attend the 5th annual Pinwheels for Prevention Community Pinwheel Garden at the State Capitol on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 12pm hosted by Missouri KidsFirst.
- Attend or volunteer for child abuse prevention month events in your community. Check here on CTF’s community events calendar for an event near you.
- Follow Missouri CTF on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with April’s prevention activities and news.
- Order CTF’s parent education and prevention materials including our new Strengthening Families Protective Factors Poster to use in April and throughout the year.