County Spotlight: Merced County—All Dads Matter | September 2017
Ten years ago, research circulated suggesting that when a strong father figure is present in their lives, children have better outcomes. Many times we have seen children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Instead of tossing the research in the circular file, Merced County paid attention.
Their Human Services agency knew they needed to find a way to decrease the number of fatherless homes and support fathers within the community. An idea came to them. The Agency adopted Boot Camp for New Dads as a starting point to address the issue.
Boot Camp for New Dads is a unique father to father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men of different economic levels, ages, and cultures to become confidently engaged with their infants, support their co-parents and personally navigate their transformation into fatherhood.
This three hour workshop was such a success the Agency decided to expand Boot Camp for New Dads and All Dads Matter was born. Today, the All Dads Matter program is thriving and determined to make committed responsible fatherhood a county priority.
The comprehensive program includes a variety of educational workshops, peer support groups, boot camps for new dads, and a resource center to address the needs of fathers. The success of All Dads Matter has been due to the incredible staff members, who are dedicated to creating an emotionally safe place for fathers to heal from their own inner demons and acknowledge what kind of father they want to be. Merced County now has a successful fatherhood engagement program which grew from a mustard seed of leadership noticing a problem and proactively addressing the issue head on.
One example of how All Dads Matter has impacted the community comes from a former attendee who shares how the program’s mentorship changed his life:
“I wanted to say that you have been a tremendous help, and without your strong mentorship I wouldn’t be where I am today. I don’t want to sound cliché or cheesy but you were the only person that saw brightness in my future when everyone else labeled me a statistic or lost cause…I just graduated with my BA in Operations management and Analysis, and plan on starting my MBA this fall. I am almost done with my second tour overseas and look forward to reuniting with my wife and kids.”
Grantee Spotlight: Coastal Tri-Counties Child Abuse Prevention Coalition
| September 2017
These three organizations have been making an effort to raise awareness about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their local communities. Each has hosted multiple free screenings of the film “RESILIENCE:The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope.”RESILIENCE chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to help parents and children disrupt the cycle of violence, addiction and disease. Each screening was followed by an expert panel discussion or a facilitated community dialogue.
The cross-sector panels and discussions that followed each screening contributed greatly to the success of each event. Panelists and facilitators were able to highlight key messages from the film and relate them to the local communities where the film was shown.This became an opportunity for the communities to discuss their goals in order to become safer and meet the needs of the children and families that live there.
Families and community members also turned out at each location and Spanish translation was provided for the Santa Barbara screening.Two additional screenings took place as a result of CAPC outreach and promotion of the film.Both of these screenings reached audiences with a particular interest in children ages 0-5. The first was for the Annual Child Development Conference hosted by the Child Care Planning Council and the second was the Santa Barbara Unified School District Cradle to K Summit.In Ventura the screening drew so much interest that they would like to start planning more in the future!Between the multiple screenings held within these three counties, about 1,200 people viewed the film!
San Francisco | June 2017
The Bay Area is working with several local partners to engage the San Francisco community around the issue of child abuse prevention. The Prevention Center created a report to shed light on the financial burden of child abuse and neglect. This report helps to tell the story about how child abuse and neglect not only hurts children and families, but can have a serious impact on the community as a whole. It’s on us to join together to protect kids and cut the financial cost of child abuse and neglect to our communities. This became a very significant focus in their CAP Month messaging.
Some of the activities hosted in the Bay Area during Child Abuse Prevention Month included the presentation of proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month at meeting of Commission of San Francisco Human Services Agency, a rally held at City Hall with speakers and high school students performing spoken word on child maltreatment, a block party for children, families and supportive organizations to promote healthy families, and last but not least, the presentation of a public service announcement and slideshow displayed on the scoreboard of the Giants game!
We love the creativity and enthusiasm that was displayed this year during Child Abuse Prevention Month and we hope that these activities can serve as inspiration for how we can promote this important cause next year and all year round!
Grantee Spotlight | April 2017
The Central California Coalition of Child Abuse Prevention Councils conducted three successful Poverty Trainings entitled “See Poverty…Be the Difference” with Dr. Donna Beegle. These call to action events were held in Fresno, San Joaquin and Kern counties. The event hosted by Kern on April 13 was part of Child Abuse Prevention Month and was attended by nearly 400 participants including community members, businesses, policy makers, educators, law enforcement, faith based community members, family resource center providers, social service providers, health care representatives and many more.
“Dr. Beegle did an outstanding job helping participants learn about the realities of poverty, what it is like to grow up in poverty, and then how to effectively connect with and engage families who live in poverty. It’s super exciting to see such an enthusiastic interest in making a difference to improve the condition of our children and families.”
- Jayme Stuart, Kern County Network for Children
Los Angeles County: Antelope Valley | March 2017
Los Angeles County, particularly Antelope Valley, is making efforts to raise awareness this year with an innovative project for Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month. Los Angeles is motivating children to shed light on child abuse prevention through the mediums of writing and art performances.The children’s efforts will be featured in the community as an advertisement or performance.
Los Angeles is putting on two competitions, both aimed at bringing awareness and education to the subject of child abuse prevention within the community.The winners of the competitions will have their work featured in an advertisement within the community and their art performance will be featured at an award ceremony along with certificates of recognition and prizes.Wondering what these competitions entail?
Well, the first contest calls for Antelope Valley children, grades 1 through 12, to develop a logo and/or slogan to prevent child abuse and make Antelope Valley a child abuse free zone for the Yes2Kids advertising campaign.The campaign urges children to think about how they can portray safe homes and happy families in their logos and slogans.The goal is to raise awareness around child abuse prevention by having children involved and their communities by extension.
The second contest calls for Antelope Valley students, grades six through college seniors, to create five minute skits and/or monologues that will “strengthen families and educate on Child Abuse Prevention” and the winners will be featured in the Yes2Kids kickoff event or award celebration.
Not only is Los Angeles County putting on this event but they are partnering with First 5 Los Angeles, WordAV, Tarzana Treatment Centers, Antelope Valley Partners for Health and Child Care Resource Center.Los Angeles County is demonstrating that through community in unity big strides can be made in child abuse prevention.
The Office of Child Abuse Prevention would like to applaud the efforts of Los Angeles County as you work to end child abuse in your community.
Trinity County: Office of Education | December 2016
Children are the Future
All aboard! There’s a train in California picking up steam and that’s Trinity County. Trinity is utilizing an early childhood education program that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The program, known as “STEAM,” is growing in popularity in pre-K curricula across the county.
The STEAM initiative focuses on school readiness for Pre-K aged children. This education collaborative is a valuable resource in Trinity County and brings together students, parents, school staff and community members to encourage and instill life-long learning. The members of this community understand that knowledge is power and the county is putting in place initiatives like STEAM to foster the necessary supports for college and career readiness. A strong start during early childhood can ultimately result in better outcomes for children and the community at large, including a reduction in poverty and increased employment.
STEAM travels to schools and a variety of local sites to collaborate with county partners in order to provide interactive and engaging STEAM projects, facilitate a STEAM Expo, and assist with hosting Family STEAM Night. Some of the interactive STEAM activities include: 3D Design and Printing, Coding and Robotic Programing to name a few.
Parents of the program are responding with positive evaluations! Here’s what they’re saying: “Amazing head start for the preschoolers,” “we are sad to be saying goodbye to great teachers,” and “This has been a wonderful program for my child. He enjoyed coming to school every day.”
The Trinity County Office of Education is utilizing Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) funds in partnership with the Trinity County Child Welfare Agency to fund the STEAM program.
Trinity County is fully investing in their community and its children, and in that regard, STEAM in Trinity County is bound for greatness by fostering education in young children and lighting the lifelong fire of learning in their hearts.
Fresno County: Fresno Fights Poverty | September 2016
The Fresno Bridge Academy, through Reading and Beyond, is at the forefront of a statewide movement for finding innovative ways to help families overcome poverty. Their program has shown great success, and is a cost-effective solution. This 18-month employment training program offers support services for families that include computer literacy classes, resume writing assistance, parenting classes and tutoring for children.