October 28, 2016

Cubbies Who Care Program

Cubbies Who CareThe Cubbies Who Care program is part of Jefferson City School District’s Southwest Early Childhood Center, with the mission to provide conscious discipline education for parents and to be used in classrooms. Conscious Discipline©, is an evidenced-based parent education curriculum built on current brain research, child development information and developmentally appropriate parenting practices. The curriculum is designed to empower parents to consciously respond to, rather than unconsciously react to, everyday conflict.  The Cubbies Who Care program focuses on four areas of interest: parent meetings, staff and community, Parents as Teachers, and teens as parents. Funded in part through a grant from the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), Cubbies Who Care uses surveys to determine the needs of at risk parents. Many of the families participating are affected by poverty and nearly 80% of the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Program students have one or more developmental delays. With the help of Southwest Early Childhood Center staff and volunteers, Cubbies Who Care is able to provide parents with the resources needed to support their children.

We spoke with Nicole Langston, Principal of Southwest Early Childhood Center, and Lisa Dierking, Family Advocate for Southwest Early Childhood Center, about the Cubbies Who Care program.

AUDIO: Lisa Dierking talks about her role, as well as the structure of the Cubbies Who Care program.

Through small parent meetings, Title One and Early Childhood Special Education families have the opportunity to connect with each other, and to come together and learn together.

AUDIO: Nicole Langston explains the needs of local childcare providers.

Community surveys allow for needs to be assessed, but more importantly provide information on how these issues can be solved.

AUDIO: Learn about the other two focuses within the Cubbies Who Care program.

The Parents as Teachers program provides community-wide meetings for all parents, while the Teens as Parents program focuses on teen parents by providing positive, conscious discipline examples.

AUDIO: Find out how one Missouri business supports Cubbies Who Care.

Scholastic gives away books during every parent meeting. Because of this support, every family that attends a parent meeting receives two books.

AUDIO: Hear how Cubbies Who Care is using the Children’s Trust Fund grant.

Through the CTF grant, the Cubbies Who Care program has been able to provide useful materials for parents and families.

AUDIO: Nicole Langston talks about the long term goals for the program.

The overall purpose of the Cubbies Who Care program is to build up our community, while providing parents the skills needed to mold children with positive futures.

For more information about the Cubbies Who Care program, call (573) 659-3026.

Prevention $ense September 19, 2016

September – National Baby Safety Month

September is National Baby Safety Month in which the Missouri Safe Sleep Coalition is focusing on Safe to Sleep practices for infants.  The Coalition has been convening over the last several months with the goal of increasing efforts of safe sleep awareness and education across the state. Coalition members include….read full article.

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes a Child’s Brain

Advertising on Child's BrainIn this article the science of early adversity and how it changes the brain is discussed – from the blog ACES Too High.



Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence Tied to Later Increased Suicide Risk

Domestic ViolenceCanadian researchers found that about 17% of adults who were exposed to chronic parental domestic violence as children made suicide attempts, compared with about 2% of those who didn’t witness parental domestic violence. The findings in the journal Child: Care, Health and Development, based on data involving more than 22,500 Canadian adults, also showed that nearly 17% of those who were sexually abused and more than 12% of those who were physically abused during childhood had attempted suicide at least once. Read full article from Health Day.

How to Help Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry outlines how to help children exposed to domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

dmvamDomestic violence (DV) impacts people of all ages and from all walks of life. In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have suffered from severe physical violence from a partner. To bring attention to our nation’s dedication to eliminating this issue,  Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has been observed each October since 1987.  DVAM is intended to help the nation mourn those who have been lost as a result of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived, and connect those seeking to end the violence.

Children exposed to DV can be adversely affected as well. They can feel isolated; be unable to empathize with others; and suffer other emotional, mental, and social damage. Child Welfare Information Gateway has several publications and resources to help professionals better serve families and children who are affected by DV, such as Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System and Promoting Protective Factors for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Guide for Practitioners. More information is available in Information Gateway’s Domestic Violence web section. Also, the following organizations can provide technical assistance, training, and resources for professionals and families:

For more information, visit Child Welfare Information Gateway.
(Article adapted from Child Welfare Information Gateway.)

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.


PODCAST: ABC’s of Safe Sleep

CTF - Lori BehrensSeptember is National Baby Safety Month. In this podcast, Kirk Schreiber, CTF Executive Director, discusses the steps to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with Lori Behrens, Executive Director, SIDS Resources. They talk about the basic recommendations for providing a safe sleeping environment for infants and how to reduce the risk of SIDS. Through the ABC’s of Safe Sleep, listeners are given specific guidelines on how they can prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while providing the safest sleeping environment for their children.

September is National Baby Safety Month

safesleepcribSeptember is National Baby Safety Month in which the Missouri Safe Sleep Coalition is focusing on Safe to Sleep practices for infants.  The Coalition has been convening over the last several months with the goal of increasing efforts of safe sleep awareness and education across the state. Coalition member agencies include the Children’s Trust Fund, Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City, MO Department of Health & Senior Services, MO Department of Social Services, State Technical Assistance Team, Mother & Child Health Coalition, and SIDS Resources.  During September, the Coalition is spreading the safe sleep awareness message via a unified social media campaign, in addition to CTF’s Safe to Sleep Media/Social Media Campaign that includes radio announcements; web promotion; metro transit advertising in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield; and refreshed Safe to Sleep materials available free to Missourians.

Infant deaths due to suffocation and strangulation related to unsafe sleep environments are preventable.   While this is a message that resonates throughout the year, Baby Safety Month gives us an added opportunity to increase the awareness as a group,” said Paula Cunningham, Children’s Trust Fund Public Affairs & Education Coordinator.  “If parents and other caregivers only remember one thing about safe sleep for their babies, it is this…Safe to Sleep is as simple as ABC. Babies should sleep Alone, on their Backs in a Crib,”  said Cunningham.


Know the key Safe to Sleep messages to keep babies safe & reduce the risk of SIDS & other sleep-related causes of death:

  • Place baby on his/back to sleep alone, for naps & night time, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Place your baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or portable play area with a firm sleep surface & fitted sheet.
  • Do NOT place baby to sleep on an adult bed or other soft mattress, waterbed, sofa, chair, beanbag, pillow, cushion, other soft surface or in a car seat.
  • Remove all soft objects, toys, blankets, bumper pads, pillows from the baby sleep area.
  • Dress baby in a sleeper/sleep sack instead of using a blanket or other covering..
  • Put baby to sleep alone in a separate sleep such as a crib or bassinet, but in the same room where you sleep.  Bed sharing is dangerous.

For more information about safe sleep for babies go to:
Children’s Trust Fund
SIDS Resources
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Listen to Radio PSA – 5 Steps for Safe Sleep
Listen to Radio PSA – ABC’s of Safe Sleep

Prevention $ense September 9, 2016

CTF Board Awards Prevention Grants  

1The CTF Board of Directors recently approved  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 board invested additional dollars in public education and awareness campaigns bringing the total in prevention funding to just over $2 million dollars for the year.  Click here to read article and here for current list of grantees for FY 2017.


Study Finds Alarming Number of Infants Sleeping in Unsafe Sleep Environment

2A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates parents in the U.S. continue to be ill-informed about safe sleeping practices for babies.  Read the article and access more safe sleep resources at the pediatrician sponsored website HealthyChildren.org.


A Practitioner’s Guide to Cost Analysis – First Steps

3The FRIENDS National Center is pleased to announce the addition of a cost analysis page to their newly designed website.  The webpage includes four briefs that address a three-part framework developed in partnership with the Center for Public Partnerships and Research (KU-CPPR) at the University of Kansas (KU-CPPR), and was based on interviews with ten CBCAP State Leads.  State Leads (Missouri was one of 10) shared their experiences collecting data, identifying stakeholders, and conducting other activities in preparation for analyzing costs related to program activities and outcomes.  Check out the work done right here in Missouri (pages 21-27) regarding social cost savings & investment for prevention through the CBCAP grant.

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

Hot, Cold or Otherwise…Never Leave Kids Alone in Cars!

Never Leave Kids Alone in Cars…Period!

NEFAM2016With extreme temperatures building across Missouri and much of the country,  the Children’s Trust Fund reminds everyone to never leave a child alone in a vehicle.  Missouri CTF’s ongoing Not Even For A Minute Campaign encourages parents and caregivers to NEVER leave children unattended in or around vehicles. Left alone in a vehicle for a short time, a child is in danger of heat stroke, dehydration, overheating, hyperthermia, injury, abduction and even death.

Our friends from the national organization KidsAndCars offer the following simple tips for parents & caregivers to keep kids safe & prevent 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. Everyone involved in the care of your child should always be aware of their whereabouts. 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

NEFAMmagnetPlease share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, family & neighbors.  And always remember to keep your pets safe from hot cars as well.   It could save a life!  Not Even For A Minute public education materials can be ordered free of charge.

Child Vehicular Heat Stroke Fact Sheet

Children’s Mental Health Week May 1 – 7

children'smentalhealthawarenessinfographicChildren’s Mental Health Week is a critical time to bring awareness to the mental health needs of children and youth in Missouri.  Approximately 13–20 percent of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year.  Poor outcomes for these children can be prevented with early intervention and access to appropriate services. Focusing attention on children’s mental health educates the public, helps build understanding and acceptance, and helps diminish harmful stigma.

children'smentalhealthawarenessThe Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) has developed tool kits, posted fact sheets and other materials to help assist local areas in designing activities and events that raise awareness about children’s mental health.  Facebook and other social marketing tools are also available to local organizations to use throughout the month of May.

Additional tools and resources are available on the DMH website and:


National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration