Topic: Uncategorized

Our Impact in Fiscal Year 2020

Another fiscal year has come to an end for the Kempe Foundation and we want to thank our supporters for championing the work of Kempe Center professionals and the programs they run to strengthen families, communities and the systems that serve them. Your generosity underscores the impactful work we were able to achieve this year, including the following:

  • The Foundation provided a grant to the Center to implement the Best Start program, which provides education and training to caregivers about parent-child interaction, child safety and child health so they can better support their children.
  • We also granted impact funds to expand the reach of the Fostering Healthy Futures mentoring program.
  • We provided funding for the Kempe Center’s strategic planning process as they build a plan for the future under the leadership of Dr. Kathryn Wells.
  • The Kempe Center initiated implementation of the CARENetwork within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – legislation that prioritizes children and builds capacity in the state budget for the systems that serve children statewide.
  • The Foundation covered nearly $280,000 in rent and facility costs for Kempe Center programs by subsidizing office space and allowing these programs to put more dollars into their work.

Your donations make our work possible.

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has transformed our field and compelled us all to reshape the ways we serve children and families. It is more important than ever to support the healthcare, mental health, and child welfare professionals and workers in our communities, who are on the ground, day in and day out, keeping our children and families safe and supported.

Kempe Continues to Adapt Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

During the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 crisis, Kempe is committed to supporting the frontline workers who continue to care for Colorado’s most vulnerable citizens – our children and youth. The Kempe Center recently launched its Kempe COVID-19 Virtual Village to allow these frontline workers to connect with experts, share best practices and generate solutions for protecting children and helping families during these challenging times.

The Kempe COVID-19 Virtual Village is an online, integrated learning environment and open space for all child welfare health professionals, legal experts, law enforcement and others who are working to prevent and treat child maltreatment.

The Virtual Village hosted its first two online learning sessions on April 8 & 9, featuring Dr. Steve Berkowitz, a child psychiatrist and expert in stress, trauma and resilience from the University of Colorado Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Berkowitz’s session centered on understanding what it means to be a professional working in service of children and families during this pandemic.

Following his presentation, attendees participated in a conversation highlighting the challenges they’re currently facing due to today’s unprecedented challenges. Both sessions were well-received, with both reaching maximum registration capacity.

The Virtual Village will continue to evolve as we gather additional feedback from professionals in the field. The goal is to provide the following:

  • A series of online conversations
  • A virtual library of resources
  • An ability to connect with local and national professionals from child welfare, healthcare providers/workers, kinship/foster parents, mental health professionals, legal experts, law enforcement and others working to prevent and treat child maltreatment
  • Vetted tools, data and information

The Kempe Center’s Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program, a positive youth development program that uses mentoring and skills training to empower youth to foster their own healthy futures, has also transitioned online to continue to support these vulnerable youth.

The FHF program is structured into two key components — skills group curriculum and one-on-one mentoring, both of which have had 100% participation since launching just two weeks ago. Both the skills group and mentor/mentees are using phone and video conferencing to conduct all sessions.

Jessica Corvinus, director of dissemination for the FHF program, says the change from in-person to online communication was a quick adaptation — one that has been embraced fully by those who run the program and its participants.

“Many of the children we serve are vulnerable for a host of different reasons, so I think there’s a lot of uncertainly with everything else going on, and it’s nice that we’re able to remain consistent. Our mentors always show up and this further demonstrates that we’re all still here and that we are able to provide that stability in this uncertain environment,” said Corvinus.

For more information on how Kempe is adapting during this time, stay tuned for our next Kempe In Action email on April 29, 2020.

Our Impact in FY19

 

FY19 was a watershed year for the Kempe Foundation and Kempe Center. With the appointment of Dr. Kathi Wells as Executive Director of the Kempe Center on February 1, we are excited about the future of Kempe and the difference we can make in the lives of children and families.

By way of example, during the 2019 Colorado legislative session, the Kempe Foundation and Kempe Center partnered with counties, state agencies and other stakeholders to pass House Bill 1133. The bill, now law, created the CARENetwork to build local capacity to provide quality assessments for suspected child abuse and neglect and to identify family stresses and challenges that may lead to child maltreatment.

The CARENetwork also will serve as a bridge for families who need continuing care by ensuring coordinated hand-offs and referrals to available providers and coordination with multi-disciplinary teams. Engaging health care and behavioral health providers and providing them the best education and training about the signs that children may be at risk of maltreatment, and about resources available to families to mitigate those risks, will greatly expand the safety net for children.

We believe with today’s awareness about the broader issues of child maltreatment and trauma, and the resources available to help families address these issues before abuse or neglect may occur, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of ALL children.

Your support of the Kempe Foundation has allowed us to have a powerful impact on children in Colorado and beyond. Together we will accomplish even more.

We invite you to learn more about our impact in our FY19 Annual Report.

Sincerely,

John D. Faught, JD
President & CEO
The Kempe Foundation

Hidden Scars: A Look at Emotional Abuse in Sports

While we often talk about the long-term, adverse effects that stem from physical and sexual abuse and neglect, the toll and trauma of emotional abuse can be just as damaging.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emotional abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love and threatening. Children who have suffered emotional abuse or neglect may find it difficult to form healthy relationships, become overly reliant and dependent on one person, or develop problems with emotions and memory.

Within the world of sports, emotional abuse is an under-acknowledged but common form of abuse that occurs at all levels, from youth and grassroots amateur sports organizations to professional leagues.

Emotional abuse within sports and athletics typically manifests as shaming and mocking for poor performance, using inappropriate nicknames, denying attention, making threats of repercussions, and excluding or singling out individuals.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport– the first national organization of its kind focused on ending all forms of abuse in sports – has endeavored to make athlete well-being the centerpiece of our nation’s sports culture through abuse prevention, education and accountability. Katie Hanna, the Director of Education & Outreach for the Center, explains that abusive behaviors are usually demonstrated by coaches, but can also be perpetrated by an athlete’s teammates or even parents.

“No matter the source, emotional abuse and bullying can have a lasting impact on athletes. These bullying behaviors can manifest feelings of shame and degrade self-esteem, pushing some athletes to leave their team or even quit the sport entirely because of it.”

Within the world of sports, Hanna adds, the power imbalance between coaches and athletes can lead to that relationship degrading into an unhealthy one.

“At the Center, we offer training for sports groups, coaches and parents that educates them on how to create a safe and supportive environment for athletes. Ultimately, it comes down to prevention and changing the sports culture to focus on building healthy relationships that foster the growth and improvement of athletes.”

In addition to offering trainings and consultations to sports organizations, the U.S. Center for SafeSport responds to and resolves allegations of physical, sexual and emotional misconduct. The Center also has exclusive authority over reports of alleged sexual abuse or conduct related to the underlying sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and its 50 National Governing Bodies. Since launching in 2017, there have been 3,256 reports made to the Center, 552 sanctions issued, and 796,505 SafeSport trainings completed.

“The most important thing you can do as a parent, coach or athlete is to speak up when you see or hear something inappropriate happening on the court or field,” said Hanna. “The more we openly discuss this issue, the more we can ensure that every athlete will be safe, supported and strengthened through sport.”

To learn more about the U.S. Center for SafeSport, click here.

30 Ways to Show Kids You Care

As children grow and develop, support and positivity in their daily lives mean a lot to them. It is important for parents, caretakers, neighbors, coaches and other adults to show children that they care. When a community invests in children’s mental, emotional and physical well-being, they are raised to be happy and healthy.

“Children thrive when they hear encouraging words,” says The Kempe Foundation President & COO Julia Stone. “Meaningful phrases like ‘I’m proud of who you are,’ ‘You are intelligent and kind,’ and ‘You can do this’ give children a sense of capability and self-worth.”

Communities can also support children by spending time with them, even if it’s just a few minutes.

“Many studies have shown that quality time is more beneficial for children than quantity,” says Stone. “Even if you only have 15 minutes, there are lots of ways to make the time you do have impactful. You can read a book together, make arts and crafts, play outside or just sit and have a conversation about life. Children feel valued when asked their day and how they’re feeling.”

Research also shows that affection and genuine displays of unconditional love make children happier and healthier. Children who have experienced affection and nurturing from a young age have shown more frequent levels of enhanced brain development throughout life’s growth stages. Simple ways to express positive emotions to children can include hugs, meaningful eye-contact, and words of admiration.

“When children are shown unconditional love, they are given a feeling of stability that enhances mental capacity,” says Stone. “Strong bonds with loved ones help shape children into more well-rounded and well-adjusted human beings. Just a little time and energy from adults in a community can truly change the life of a child for the better.”

Encouraging words, quality time and affection make a world of difference for children.

This April, as organizations across the country recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month, Kempe encourages communities to join it in raising happy healthy children.

Dedicating time each day to show that you care is the best way to raise happy healthy children. Download and hang this list on your refrigerator as inspiration. Each day, choose one of these activities to do with a child:

  1. Color with your child
  2. Give a hug just because
  3. Build a blanket fort together and hang out inside
  4. Say “I love you” at breakfast, lunch and dinner
  5. Take a walk together
  6. Let your child choose a game and play it with them
  7. Catch your child doing something right and celebrate them with verbal praise
  8. Plan a meal and cook it together
  9. Read a book together
  10. Tell your child a happy story from your childhood
  11. Do a craft together, and don’t worry about cleaning up the mess until the end
  12. Pack a picnic and go to the park together
  13. Take your child on a nature walk and play “I spy”
  14. Put your phone and electronic devices in “time out” for one hour
  15. Send your child a special card to open in the mail
  16. Let your child pick out a picture of him or herself to put in a frame in your house
  17. Ask your child where they would like to go and take them there
  18. Pack a love note in your child’s lunch
  19. Stop everything for 20 minutes and do only what your child wants to do
  20. Do a household chore together
  21. Create a scavenger hunt for your child and a friend around your neighborhood
  22. Do something kind for a neighbor together – like rake a lawn or bring them cookies
  23. Go to the museum together
  24. Take your child to the grocery store and work together to pick out the ingredients for a healthy meal
  25. Color the driveway with chalk together
  26. Play dress up together
  27. Tell your child specifically what is unique or special about them
  28. Offer a word of encouragement when your child tries something difficult
  29. Finger paint together
  30. Make funny faces together and laugh

Thank you for your commitment to protecting children and strengthening families.