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.
The Young Parent Program, through the New Madrid County Family Resource Center, is a mentoring program that helps young women and their partners during pregnancy and early parenting. The Young Parent Program works to help parents develop skills and independence through support, counseling and friendship. The program focuses on continuing education, finding and maintaining employment, information on living a healthy lifestyle and practicing positive parenting skills. We spoke to Tonya Vannasdall, Director, about the program’s beginnings, the strides made and where she hopes it will go from here.
AUDIO: Vannasdall talks about the program start with the help of the Children’s Trust Fund.
AUDIO: Vannasdall says the program is meant to not only educate but provide an outlet for quality time.
AUDIO: Vannasdall chats about the long-term goals of the Young Parent Program.
AUDIO: Many of those who have been previous participants in the Young Parents program return later on to share their experiences with other parents in the program.
Nanci Bobrow, Ph.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, St. Louis University School of Medicine, and a licensed Psychologist working with the Division of Endocrinology at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. She earned a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from St. Louis University. As a practitioner, Dr. Bobrow has held numerous local, state and national leadership positions in the area of prevention as well as therapeutic intervention. She previously served on the CTF Board from 2000 until 2008 serving as Board Chair from 2005-07 and was appointed by Governor Nixon in 2013 to serve another term. She is also a former Chair of the Task Force On Children’s Justice, and past President of Prevent Child Abuse Missouri. We spoke with her about the contributions CTF has made over the years.
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) will be accepting grant applications for its annual discretionary funding program for state Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) on or after April 1, 2014. Discretionary funding or ‘mini grants’ are designed to be responsive to low-cost prevention projects or needs identified by individual communities, organizations or agencies. A maximum of $5,000 per grant award may be requested per application. Grants are for one year and are not renewable and must be specifically aimed at primary and secondary prevention of child abuse/neglect, and projects that strengthen and support families. For additional information, questions or technical assistance please contact CTF Program Coordinator Laura Malzner.
The FY 2015 Discretionary Grant Application may be downloaded by clicking on the links below.
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2013 is now available and highlights CTF’s prevention activities, events, grants and public education campaigns from July 2012 through June 2013.
During that time, CTF distributed over $3.2 million in prevention funding to support 116 community-based programs providing home visitation, safe crib/safe sleep, crisis nursery, mentoring, parent education, sexual abuse prevention, family support, public awareness & other prevention initiatives. Since its 1983 inception, CTF has distributed over $48 million in prevention funds from donations & dedicated fees.
CTF continued its public education campaigns including Strengthening Families with the development of a related rack card; Never Shake A Baby addressing abusive head trauma; Not Even For A Minute (NEFAM) reminding caregivers about the dangers of leaving children in and around vehicles; Safe to Sleep by updating materials; Words Help addressing the prevention of child emotional abuse & neglect; & Parent with Patience promoting positive parenting.
Read all about it and thank you for your continued support!
W. Dudley McCarter is an attorney with Behr, McCarter & Potter Law Office in St. Louis. McCarter was appointed to CTF’s Board from 1996 through 2003 and served as Board Chair from 2001-2003. We caught up with him to talk about his time with the Children’s Trust Fund, which included CTF’s first Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention video and the beginning of the Specialty License Plate campaign.
There are many ways Missourians help children each and every day. One quick and easy way is to make a charitable donation on your Missouri tax form to the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF). It’s been proven that a child’s experiences have a direct link to their health and well-being in adulthood. Investing in children early in their life is key to helping them have a successful future. Your gift through Missouri’s Tax Check-off Program makes a BIG difference in the life of a child at risk for abuse and neglect.
Since 1983, CTF has invested millions in best practice child abuse prevention programs in communities around the state. Parent education, family support, home visitation, mentoring, safe sleep practices, sexual abuse prevention, fatherhood and grandparent support, strengthening families and many other effective prevention services are possible because Missourians like you make a gift on their Missouri tax return.
Just look for the child’s handprints on your Missouri State Income Tax Return and designate any amount over $2 to CTF by making your mark to contribute. Your donation may also be deducted on next year’s federal tax return, and with a $25 or more donation, you are eligible to purchase a CTF specialty license plate for your vehicle…the ones with the green handprints.
Whether you do it yourself or enlist the help of tax professionals, please consider donating a portion of your refund to CTF. The Missouri Department of Revenue will send your donation directly to CTF where it will be used to support Strong Families, Safe Kids. Thank you! Together we can check-off child abuse in Missouri.
The Administration for Children and Families recently released its latest annual report on child abuse and neglect. Child Maltreatment 2012 is the 23rd edition of the report which includes national and state level findings about investigations and assessments, perpetrators of maltreatment, and prevention and post investigation services. For the sixth consecutive year data shows a steady decline in the number of children who suffered from all forms of maltreatment.
■ Specifically, from 2008 to 2012, overall rates of victimization declined by 3.3 percent, from 9.5 to 9.2 per 1,000 children in the population. This results in an estimated 30,000 fewer victims in 2012 (686,000) compared with 2008 (716,000).
■ Since 2008, overall rates of children who received a Child Protective Services (CPS) response increased by 4.7 percent, from 40.8 to 42.7 per 1,000 children in the population. This results in an estimated 107,000 additional children who received a CPS response in 2012 (3,184,000) compared to 2008 (3,077,000).
■ Nationally, four-fifths (78.3%) of victims were neglected, 18.3 percent were physically abused, 9.3 percent were sexually abused and 8.5 percent were psychologically maltreated.
■ For 2012, a nationally estimated 1,640 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.20 children per 100,000 children in the national population.
Read or download the full report.