September 21, 2014

25th Edition Kids Count Data Book Available

AECFkidscountdatabookcover-2014The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) has released The KIDS COUNT Data Book 2014 .  The annual publication documents child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the 2014 report ranks states on overall child well-being and in four domains: (1) economic well-being, (2) education, (3) health, and (4) family and community. For 2014, the three highest-ranked states for child well-being were Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa; the three lowest-ranked were Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi. Missouri ranked 29th overall with its highest ranking in education (22) and lowest in child health (30).  The report also provides national trends, comparing the latest data with mid-decade statistics.   The 2014 Data Book is the 25th edition of the Casey Foundation’s signature publication.

AECF Kids Count Data Book Resource Page
25th Edition of Kids Count Data Book Highlights Improvements
Missourinet – Kids Count Story – July 23, 2014
2013 (current) Kids Count in Missouri Data Book online


Making Meaningful Connections – 2014 Prevention Resource Guide

2014 Prevention Resource GuideThe 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.

2014 Prevention Resource Guide – Making Meaningful Connections (PDF)

Educating Children and Parents about Sexual Abuse

Project Aware Activity Book coverProject 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.

AUDIO: Educating and debunking myths

AUDIO: Hopkins talks about ways community members can reach out.

AUDIO: Resources made available through CTF grant funding

AUDIO: Hopkins shares the story of a child who was able to receive protection through education from Project Aware.


Kids and Vehicles…a Dangerous Combination

NEFAM_Rufus_2014Many 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.

Related Articles:

Sophie’s KISS program

Look Before You Lock campaign

Kids and Cars

Walmart places reminder signs in windows

Avoid summer tragedy

CTF Welcomes Michelle Crockett

Michelle CrockettThe 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.

Continuing the Connection During Separation

PATCH pic2 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.

PATCH pic1AUDIO: 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.

AUDIO: Burton shares one of her favorite stories of a young woman who was helped by PATCH as a child.


Governor Proclamation Ceremony

Proclamation Ceremony April 28,2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation Ceremony April 28,2014

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!

Sublette Receives CTF Award

(L-R) Sgt. Jeffery Owen, Maj. Luke Vislay, Trooper Patrick Sublette, Captain Sarah Eberhard, Colonel Ronald Replogle

(L-R) Sgt. Jeffery Owen, Maj. Luke Vislay, Trooper Patrick Sublette, Captain Sarah Eberhard, Colonel Ronald Replogle

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.

Connecting Families at Fun City

end bullying picColumbia’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.

AUDIO: Fun City’s long-term goals of providing educational and cultural development

AUDIO: How CTF funding helps provide for children and their parents

AUDIO: Johnson talks about the necessity to provide for parents as well as children.

AUDIO: Johnson shares a number of examples of the variety of assistance Fun City provides.


Kids Count in Missouri 2013 Data Available

KidsCountCover2013University 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
Missouri Profile
Composite Ranks
Understanding the Data (including Minority Profile)
2013 Databook with County Profiles
2013 Databook without County Profiles