July 4, 2015

Reducing Parent Stress through Baby Connect

BBC baby hats

Baby Connect supports CTF’s Shaken Baby initiative through messaging on knitted baby hats.  The hats are knitted and then donated by inmates with the Missouri Department of Corrections.

In an effort to help young parents in Missouri’s Bootheel region, ParentLink at the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a grant from CTF, created Bootheel Baby Connect.  The project includes a Facebook group for parents of new babies who live in Missouri’s southeastern most region. The group provides parents with a network of friends with whom they can share positive parenting, challenges, and solutions, as well as access to basic supports. The group also utilizes the support of the ParentLink Warmline (1-800-552-8522) to provide services to families in need. We spoke with Ta’janette Sconyers, M.Ed., Director of Baby Connect.  She says the program’s main goal is prevention but she knows there are times when intervention strategies are necessary and Baby Connect and the Warmline are there for those times as well.

AUDIO: Sconyers talks about targeting teen parents with the program, but also being a resource for other parents:

AUDIO: Another goal of the program is to have an impact on future generations of the families it supports:

AUDIO: Sconyers talks about the ParentLink Warmline:


Two toddlers die in hot cars on Father’s Day, reports KidsAndCars.org

NEFAMmagnetOLATHE, KS. – Two children died of heatstroke in hot cars on Father’s Day, reports KidsAndCars.org, the only national nonprofit child safety organization working solely to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around vehicles.

Five children have died in hot cars already in June, bringing the total to 7 child vehicular heatstroke deaths this year nationwide.

  •  June 21st (Pomona, CA) – A 3-year-old girl was unknowingly left alone in a vehicle after returning home from a Father’s Day family outing.
  • June 21st (Columbia, SC) – A 4-year-old boy got into an unlocked car in an apartment parking lot.
  • June 11th (Spirit Lake, ID) – A 3-year-old boy got into a neighborhood vehicle on his own.
  • June 5th (Baton Rouge, LA) – A 22-month-old girl was unknowingly left by a child care provider.
  • June 2nd (Hiland Park, FL) – An 18-month-old girl died after being unknowingly left in vehicle after the mother believed she had been dropped off at daycare.
  • May 12th (Lake City, FL) – A 16-month-old girl died after being unknowingly left in vehicle after the father believed she had been dropped off at daycare.
  • April 20th (Phoenix, AZ) – A 2.5-year-old boy died after being unknowingly left in his father’s vehicle.

“Today is the day for every parent in America to understand that this can happen to anybody and take simple steps to protect their children.” says Janette Fennell, KidsAndCars.org president and founder. “Far too many wonderful parents and caregivers believe that this would never happen to them or their family; which is the most dangerous mistake we can make as parents. Nobody is immune,” she continued.

These tragedies are not only predictable, they are 100% preventable, yet over 700 children have died inside hot cars in the last 20 years, according to KidsAndCars.org.

KidsAndCars.org’s successful Look Before You Lock program has provided more than 625,000 education cards to birthing hospitals nationwide providing safety tips about how to keep children safe.

Safety Tips from KidsAndCars.org

Below are some simple tips parents and caregivers can follow to prevent heatstroke tragedies.

  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • “Look Before You Lock” – Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
  • Create a reminder to check the back seat.
  • Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
  • Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop-off. If your child will not be attending daycare as scheduled, it is the parent’s responsibility to call and inform the childcare provider. If your child does not show up as scheduled; and they have not received a call from the parent, the childcare provider pledges to contact you immediately to ensure the safety of your child. (this is very similar to the ‘absence-line’ used by most elementary, middle and high schools) Everyone involved in the care of your child should always be aware of their whereabouts.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
  • Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
  • If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
  • Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
  • Use drive-thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.

Please share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, family and neighbors… It could save a life!

KidsAndCars.org urges everyone to read “Fatal Distraction,” Gene Weingarten’s Pulitzer Prize-winning article in The Washington Post at http://ow.ly/ldDwU, which explains how these heartbreaking and preventable tragedies can happen to anyone.

For additional information, statistics and charts specific to child vehicular heat stroke visit http://www.kidsandcars.org/heatstroke.html

For further details about ways to keep children safe in and around vehicles, please visit www.KidsAndCars.org.

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2015 Prevention Resource Guide

resourceguide2015The 2015 Prevention Resource Guide – Making Meaningful Connections is now available to download.  The resource guide is produced annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The 2015 guide was developed with input from numerous national organizations, Federal partners, and parents committed to strengthening families and communities.

Released in preparation for April – National Child Abuse Prevention Month, this guide provides information that anyone can use and share throughout the year including:
– information about the protective factors known to prevent child abuse;
– child maltreatment statistics;
– resources to inform providers on human trafficking;
– tools to help build community awareness and support;
– tip sheets for parents in English & Spanish; and
– activity calendars for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

CAPM2015_flierGo Blue Day for Missouri’s Kids – April 10
Additionally, please use the Child Abuse Prevention Month poster to promote April, and specifically Go Blue Day on Friday, April 10. We encourage you to join thousands of Missourians on that day in wearing blue to show your support for Missouri’s kids and the importance of preventing child maltreatment.

Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Month 2015

CAPM2015_flierApril is Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Month 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.   One of many events is Go Blue Day for Missouri’s kids scheduled for Friday, April 10.  We hope you will join us along with 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 help you plan for Child Abuse Prevention Month you can:

PODCAST: The Importance of Parent Leadership

sam blue1February is National Parent Leadership Month. For this podcast we talk about the importance of parent involvement and leadership in communities with Sam Blue, Community Engagement Specialist for the Vision for Children at Risk through Project LAUNCH in St. Louis. Blue is also a member of the FRIENDS National Parent Advisory Council for Community Based Child Abuse Prevention. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Blue is a husband of 23 years and father of 9 children, seven daughters and two sons.

Listen to Parent Leadership Podcast

CTF Annual Report Available

CTF Annual Report FY14The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2014 highlights CTF’s prevention activities, events, grants and public education campaigns from July 2013 through June 2014.

During that time, CTF awarded over $2.9 million in prevention funding to support 117 community-based programs providing home visitation, safe crib/safe sleep, crisis nursery, mentoring, parent education, sexual abuse prevention, family support, strengthening families, public awareness and other prevention initiatives.   Since its  inception in 1983, CTF has awarded nearly $52 million in prevention funds statewide from donations and dedicated fees.

An Easy Way to Check Off Child Abuse

TaxCheckOff Flier 2015 FINALThere 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.  CTF receives no general revenue, so all of its public education, prevention resources, and community based grant programs are made possible through dedicated fees and donations, such as through the tax check off program.

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 KidsThank you!  Together we CAN check off child abuse in Missouri.

Registration Now Open for CTF Prevention Conference

Registration is now open for tCTFconf15RegFormV5_Page_1he Children’s Trust Fund’s biennial prevention conference April 14 & 15, 2015, Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. This year’s conference theme is “1 Childhood 4 Every 1 – All Kids Deserve A Good 1”.  Please join CTF and other community, national and statewide prevention advocates and practitioners as we recognize April as Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Month and provide opportunities to learn and share about current strategies in the field of prevention.

Registration is only $95 per person for the entire event with CEU’s available.   For questions pertaining to the conference please contact Alicia by e-mail or call 573-751-5147.  We also encourage you to share with others by e-mail, through social media and the web.  This is an event that only occurs every two years so you won’t want to miss it.

Printable 2015 Conference Registration Form
or Register Online Now

CTF Welcomes New Board Members

The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) welcomes four new members to the CTF Board of Directors. Senators Jill Schupp (D), Creve Coeur, and Bob Dixon (R), Springfield, were recently appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey. Senator Schupp represents District 24 in St. Louis, and Senator Dixon represents District 30 in Greene County. Additionally Governor Jay Nixon  appointed M. Peggy Krokstrom, Chesterfield, and the Rev. Andy Bryan, Springfield, to the CTF Board. Peggy Krokstrom is an Instructional Designer with Edward D. Jones in St. Louis, and Andy Bryan is the Senior Pastor at Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield.

The CTF Board of Directors is comprised of twenty-one members, seventeen of whom are public members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, two from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and two from the Missouri Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem. Public members may serve up to two consecutive 3-year terms.

Child Maltreatment Report 2013

cm_2013_coverThe Children’s Bureau, Office of the Administration for Children and Families recently released its latest annual report on child abuse and neglect. Child Maltreatment 2013 is the 24th edition of the report which includes national and state level findings about investigations and assessments, perpetrators of maltreatment, and prevention and post investigation services.  The report is based on federal fiscal year 2013 data submitted by 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Key findings in this report include:
■ From 2009 to 2013, overall rates of victimization declined, from 9.3 to 9.1 per 1,000 children in the population. This results in an estimated 23,000 fewer victims in 2013 (679,000) compared with 2009 (702,000).
■ Since 2009, overall rates of children who received a CPS response increased from 40.3 to 42.9 per 1,000 children in the population. This results in an estimated 145,000 additional children who received a CPS response in 2013 (3,188,000) compared to 2009 (3,043,000). States provide possible explanations for the increase in Appendix D, State Commentary.
■ Nationally, four-fifths (79.5%) of victims were neglected, 18.0 percent were physically abused, 9.0 percent were sexually abused and 8.7 percent were psychologically maltreated.
■ For 2013, a nationally estimated 1,520 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.04 children per 100,000 children in the national population.

Child Maltreatment Report 2013