By Patrice Mugg , CTF Board Chair, Kirkwood, MO
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), Missouri’s Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention, was the first State Income Tax Check-off in 1984. This is the donation option given to each of us via our State tax returns. Since CTF receives no general revenue, the money received through the check-off program remains an important source of donations. Knowing we are the “Show-Me-State,” you may be wondering where these funds go and what they are doing to help Missouri families.
CTF uses the Tax check-off funding to support community-based organizations throughout the state that in turn support children and strengthen their families by incorporating five protective factors:
- Nurturing and Attachment: A child’s early experience of being nurtured and developing a bond with his parents or other caring adult affects all aspects of behavior and development.
- Knowledge of Parenting and of Child and Youth Development: Discipline is both more effective and more nurturing when parents know how to set and enforce limits and encourage appropriate behaviors based on the child’s age and level of development.
- Parental Resilience: Parents who are emotionally resilient have a positive attitude, creatively solve problems, and effectively address challenges and deal with stress are less likely to direct anger, blame and frustration at their children.
- Social Connections: Many parents often find themselves isolated. Trusted and caring family and friends provide emotional support to parents by offering encouragement and assistance in facing the daily challenges of raising a family.
- Concrete Supports for Parents: Parents need basic resources such as food, clothing, housing, transportation and access to essential services to ensure the health and well being of their children.
Many of the community-based prevention programs that CTF supports include: safe crib/safe sleep, crisis nurseries, home visitation, parent education, grandparent support, mentoring for teens, infant nurturing, as well as public awareness campaigns that address the dangers of shaking a baby, never leaving children unattended in vehicles, emotional abuse prevention, and parenting with patience.
You can help prevent child abuse and neglect by using the check-off box on your State tax return or making a tax deductible gift to CTF! Taxpayers not eligible to receive a refund may also make a donation when filing. Contact an accountant for additional information or visit www.ctf4kids.org to learn more.
As a former foster parent, adoptive parent and mother of four, it is imperative that we protect, nurture and support our future generation. CTF and the children of Missouri thank you!