The world of a young child is small, but the world that impacts a young child is much larger. Never has that broader world impact on children been more highlighted than in the midst of a global pandemic.
Long before we learned of COVID-19, the Kempe Foundation focused on funding work that interrupts the risks surrounding a child linked to childhood trauma. With your donations, we are able to support professionals leading programs at the Kempe Center who, day in and day out, are improving the care and well-being of children by strengthening families, communities, and the systems that serve them.
Throughout FY20, we advocated for the health and safety of children in collaboration with state agencies and state legislators. We helped secure funding for SafeCare, an early intervention program proven to address family risk factors linked to childhood trauma. We reinforced support for the Kempe Center professionals who are empowering resilience among youth in the foster care system through the Fostering Healthy Futures and FHF for Teens mentoring programs. We also invested in the role schools and educators play in a child’s life by advancing the Kempe Center’s Trauma-Responsive Implementation and Practice program. Finally, we directed resources to building the capacity of local communities to provide health and behavioral health care through a network of providers identify and evaluate childhood maltreatment and trauma.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it exacerbated the stress and trauma being experienced by Colorado’s most vulnerable residents. We know the pandemic has impacted many of the children and families who interact with Kempe and has intensified the need for practices and strategies built to respond to trauma.
As a result, we pivoted our work to support the Kempe Center and professionals dedicated to serving families and children, in this new world that strained the safety nets for children. We also focused on preserving state funding for key programs to support children and families even as Colorado faces a large budget shortfall.
I hope you’ll take a moment to read our Annual Report to learn more about our work in FY20, both prior to and during the pandemic. Thank you for your support in making all of this work possible.
John D. Faught, JD
CEO, The Kempe Foundation
After six years of leadership, John Faught is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Kempe Foundation. Faught has been a champion of the Foundation for over 25 years, and his leadership will surely be missed by our staff and supporters. In the new year, he will transition into a new role where he will use his public policy expertise to advocate for legislation on behalf of the Foundation. Long-time Kempe advocate Jon Kruljac will step into the role of CEO effective January 1, 2021. While the Foundation is changing leadership, we remain dedicated to working together to achieve a safe and healthy future for children.
Kruljac is an accomplished, energetic and passionate leader with expertise in strategic planning and philanthropy. Professionally, he has more than 30 years of experience representing public companies in capital markets and investor relations. His history with Kempe dates back to 1991, when he was first introduced to the organization by Walt and Georgia Imhoff. In the 30 years that followed, he has remained involved with Kempe in various capacities.
“I have always cared deeply for children and civic responsibility,” says Kruljac. “The Kempe Foundation is a great marriage of the two and I am honored that my journey has taken me full circle back to this organization.”
In regard to his predecessor, Kruljac is admiring. “John Faught helped further the Foundation’s reputation as a public policy resource and advocated tirelessly for legislative funding. I am grateful he will remain with us in a public policy role.”
Looking ahead, Kruljac hopes to grow the Foundation’s spheres of influence with the ultimate goal of Kempe Center professionals serving as many children and communities as possible. He is a talented fundraiser and will work hard to ensure Kempe achieves its goals with financial support from the Foundation.
“We will continue addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the stressors children and families are currently experiencing,” says Kruljac. “We want to reach more schools, communities and neighborhoods with the right tools to manage the impacts of this pandemic moving forward.”
We are thrilled to welcome Jon Kruljac into the role of CEO in the new year. We are confident that his expertise will build upon Faught’s successes and are grateful for the ongoing commitment of our supporters to making our work possible.
Hear more from John Faught and Jon Kruljac in the video below.