January 2015 Newsletter

Happy January 2015! Because of you, the children of San Francisco have begun this year on a happier note. Whether you are a donor, volunteer, community partner, or staff member, your support of the Prevention Center last year helped to increase the number of children and families we were able to reach and allowed us to continue to serve as an essential anchor institution – leading strategic partnerships, delivering high-quality services, and raising awareness to prevent abuse. THANK YOU!

2014 was an incredible year at the Prevention Center! Our work transformed lives and helped to prevent abuse in San Francisco. Here are a few of the many highlights:

  • Doors are open and our long-anticipated Children’s Advocacy Center is now accredited and serving as a model of national best-practices. Nearly 250 children who have been abused were seen for forensic interviews and follow-up case management at the new Children’s Advocacy Center this past year.
  • We successfully completed the pilot phase of our Integrated Family Services program and have expanded to include 57 of our highest-risk families in this effective model of prevention. Families have shown 82% improvement in their protective factors to care for their children, including parent resiliency and children’s social-emotional competencies. Even in its early stages, this model is garnering national interest.
  • We helped prevent child sexual abuse through community awareness events at the San Francisco Giants Stadium and the Divisadero Touchless car wash and the education of 5,500 children in school programming on safe and unsafe touch.

We look forward to building on the successes of 2014 to ensure that all children experience a childhood free from abuse in 2015. There is still important work to be done. Thank you again for your friendship, dedication, and hard work to make this happen!

Making A Difference: A Community Spotlight – The ripple effect of one good deed

It all started when Prevention Center staff organized a first-of-its-kind training for a group of multidisciplinary child abuse professionals at our Children’s Advocacy Center. The training on trauma-informed systems was geared to those who work on the front lines of child abuse and child-related trauma as well as everyone around them who touches the work. The training, led by Lynn Dolce of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, focused on how clients, caregivers, and our entire system can better handle toxic stress. The Department of Public Health has launched an entire initiative focused on creating a trauma-informed system of care across San Francisco and this training was a part of that innovative work.

At one point, Lynn told the group a story about a teen who came to her office – a big guy with a full gold grill on his teeth who was hardened by the life he had lived so far. As she sat rubbing a bit of lotion on her own hands, the teen asked if he could have some. As he sat quietly, rubbing his hands and inhaling the calming scent of lavender, he began to open up to her about some of the issues he was facing. This was his first interaction with the basic principles of trauma-informed systems and mindfulness. The teen and Lynn connected just a little bit better after that – a key first step. Before he left, he asked where he could find some of the lotion for himself.

At the training, 70+ participants, from police to district attorneys, nurses and doctors, mental health and social workers, finance, clerks, and IT, were asked to take some EO lotion and spend some healing time rubbing their hands with lotion. This group was similarly moved. The room settled and everyone began to relax.

This sparked an idea: one of our staff members reached out to EO and shared the amazing story. Susan Griffin Black, co-founder of EO products, was thrilled and offered to donate what can only be described as a “bathtub full” of lotion to be used in future trainings and by those working on the front lines of child abuse.

The story made its way across the country to Washington, D.C. where the trainer’s boss, Ken Epstein, head of children’s behavioral health for San Francisco, was in an important meeting working on “one of those impossible, intractable systems problems and everyone was exhausted.” When he checked his phone and saw the story, he interrupted the meeting and said, “I just have to tell you this story because it’s so great and because it’s a sign that teaching about trauma-informed systems and mindfulness is so powerful  and good work leads to more great work.”

Did you know?

In 2014, 754 new donors and seven new foundations stepped up to support our innovative programming keeping kids safe from abuse. Last month alone, we received generous support from the following foundations: 

Bella Vista Foundation, Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation, David B. Gold Foundation, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, George F. Jewett Foundation, Maverick Capital Foundation, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Metta Fund, George H. Sandy Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Yerba Buena Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation

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