A new guide is available on how communities can foster supportive environments for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released Building Community Commitment for Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments, developed by Prevention Institute (PI). This publication provides guidance to mobilize communities to create safe spaces and settings that keep kids safe and support their healthy development. As part of CDC’s Essentials for Childhood initiative to prevent child abuse and neglect, this document lays out steps that communities can use to build support for many issues. Nine key elements and case examples are presented, organized into three areas: developing a shared vision, build understanding of the need and solutions, and partnerships.
The Independence School District’s (ISD) Teen Parenting Support program offers expectant and new teen parents opportunities to continue their education while getting support for all of the new responsibilities facing them. The ISD not only uses home visitation and case management to support teen parents, but provides an opportunity for them to bring their children into the classroom and get hands on support and education. Since receiving grant funding from Children’s Trust Fund, the program has been able to increase the level of support to parents through implementation of the Love & Logic Parent Model, and after school opportunities for parents and their families. We spoke with John Tramel, Director of Neighborhood and Family Services for the district, along with Nicole Sequeira, Family Service Coordinator/McKinney-Vento Liaison and Juanice Williams, Teen Parenting Specialist about the program and how it helps build a strong foundation and a greater chance for success. Tramel reports that over 90% of their teen parents graduate from high school but, beyond graduation, they want to make sure the components are in place so that students can follow and implement their career path and ultimately reach their life goals.
In this podcast Children’s Trust Fund Executive Director Kirk Schreiber speaks with Cherisse Thibaut, Prevention and Community Outreach Manager for Missouri KidsFirst, about mandated reporting in Missouri. They discuss recent legislation that has changed, who is required to report suspected abuse, and why the changes were made. Changes to mandated reporter requirements. Thibaut also discussed how to report suspected abuse as well as the current efforts by Missouri’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children.
Anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect is urged to call the Children’s Division Hotline at 800-392-3738.
AUDIO: Mandated Reporting
The 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
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!