September 2015 Newsletter

Notable News

Children are settling into their classes in schools across the Bay Area and BART and Muni are jam-packed with riders recently returned from vacation.  At the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, summer of 2015—the hottest on record—was one of the busiest.

The impact of increasing economic disparity in San Francisco took a toll on the families we serve —95% of whom are low-income. For those who can’t afford summer camps, or find scarce spots in free programs, summers can be made all the harder by long unstructured days with young children. Families who depend on vital concrete services—like free lunch programs—normally provided by public schools can find already tight budgets stretched to the breaking point.

The Prevention Center has always been there for those families, offering them basic support – food, family dinners, and emergency needs support. Concrete support in times of need is one of five protective factors shown to strengthen families and reduce the risk of child abuse.

  • Between May and August, the Prevention Center served 617 vulnerable children and families, with 93 of those families new to us. We were pleased to provide the following essential services:
    • 100 client families were helped with concrete needs and support, including bags of donated fresh and dry food, hygiene kits, and bus tokens.
    • Highly utilized services included our Children’s Playroom, which served over 200 children, the TALK Line, which provided ongoing phone counseling to 163 parents, and Tuesday Night Dinner, which served 120 family members.
    • TALK Line staff and volunteers fielded 914 counseling calls and made over 1700 outgoing calls to clients who requested follow-up support.

Choosing between diapers and food

The Prevention Center is pleased to be one of four agencies working with San Francisco’s Human Services Agency to pilot a Diaper Bank for families receiving CALWorks.

Many low-income families, working hard to stretch every dollar, must make the difficult choice between diapers and food.A recent article in the July 2015 issue of the Atlantic Magazine highlighted the incredible and poignant challenges faced by many low-income parents as they must make a choice many never thought they would have to consider.

The Diaper Bank program helps alleviate this stress, providing up to six packages of diapers per family per month. The Diaper Bank program provides Prevention Center staff  a great opportunity to inform families about the full range of support services we offer through our Children and Family Services Program.

Rallying to send our kids Back to School 

Thanks to the generous support of Old Republic Title Company and Vanguard Properties, 175 backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies were distributed to Prevention Center kids headed back to school this fall. SanDisk Corporation added to the pack with 175 donated flash drives to families with middle and high school students.

Special thanks to Greg DiMartini of Old Republic Title Company, Elaine LaMastra of Vanguard Properties and Gisela Bushey at SanDisk Foundation for their incredible support of our kids!

4th Annual Russian River Ride

This past weekend, 12 cyclists rode 215 miles and climbed over 17,000 feet to support the Prevention Center raising over $43,000!

Special thanks to the following foundations for supporting our work: 

Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Foundation, Children’s Advocacy Centers of California, David B. Gold Foundation, The HAND Foundation, Hedge Funds Care, Junior League of San Francisco, Maverick Capital Foundation, Negley Flinn Charitable Foundation, Robert and Ruth Halperin Foundation, S.H. Cowell Foundation, Tipping Point Community, Viragh Family Foundation, & World Childhood Foundation.

Check Out the Ascend at the Aspen Institute Webinar: Toxic! Stress, Health and ACES!

aspen    Check it out hereOur very own Katie Albright, Executive Director, participated in the Aspen Institute’s webinar discussing the intersection of toxic stress, health and the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACES).  She was one of a handful of presenters on this important and engaging topic.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Building on the ideas shared at the 2014 Aspen ThinkXChange, this webinar explored how to more effectively address toxic stress in two-generation solutions and how other frameworks – like Strengthening Families – can play a role. Presenters included Ascend at the Aspen Institute and Ascend Network Partners Katie Albright (San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center); Jeannette Pai-Espinosa (The National Crittenton Foundation); and Jason Gortney (The Children’s Home Society of Washington State) in this important two-gen conversation.

Check Out Our Essay in Two Generations. One Future: An Anthology from the Aspen Institute

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Ascend at the Aspen Institute released Two Generations.  One Future:  An Anthology from the Ascend Fellowship.  The Anthology builds on more than two years of collaboration and bold action by Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows, including San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center Executive Director, Katie Albright.  Together, the Anthology essays paint a portfolio of insights and solutions that will inspire many to action and propel children, parents, and their families toward educational success and economic security.

This exciting anthology includes an essay co-written by San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center’s own Katie Albright, Genanne Walsh, Larry Yip, and Malcolm Gaines.  Check our our essay, The Case for Prevention:  A Two-Generation Approach to Ending Child Abusehere!

You can find the complete anthology here.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month! Help Us Shine a Light on Child Abuse.

blueribbonApril is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Click here for President Obama’s official proclamation and inspiring words.

Together we can Shine the Light on child abuse and protect our community’s children. Our future is counting on it.

“How Can I Help?” 

Spread the Word. Raise Awareness.                                             

When you hear that every year in San Francisco thousands of children experience abuse and violence, you may feel overwhelmed and ask yourself, “What can one person do to help?”

You can do a lot.

The good news is that child abuse is preventable. Stories from adults abused as children reveal that the majority of cases are not reported to anyone. By getting the message out and learning how to talk about child abuse and its prevention, you can protect a child.

Join us in Shining the Light on Child Abuse. Here are five ways you can help during Child Abuse Prevention Month:    NewsletterImage

1. Talk to one person about child abuse and its prevention. Need help getting the conversation started? Check out our resources below with tips on how to keep kids safe and facts about child abuse.

2. Join us on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall (Polk Street side — look for the blue balloons!) on Thursday, April 16th at 5:30 pm to Rock the Ribbon and commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Month. Dress in something blue, and wear a blue ribbon.  We are thrilled that Supervisors Breed, Cohen, Chief Probation Officer Nance, Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Henderson, and adult survivors of abuse, among other speakers, will talk with us at the event.

3. Post or send a message about San Francisco’s 5,200 cases of suspected child abuse, and help us reach 5,200 tweets.  Tweet and retweet “April is #ChildAbuse Preventionmonth! I #ShineTheLight against child abuse with @sfcapc!” and follow us @sfcapc.

4. Like us on Facebook. And change your profile picture to a blue ribbon in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

5. Support us at our 18th Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon on Thursday, April 30th.

Resources for National Child Abuse Prevention Month:

The Super Ten Play-It-Safe Rules for Kids and Grownups

Playing the “What if…” Game

Tips on How not to be a Bystander to Abuse

Facts about Child Abuse

February 2015 Newsletter

Notable News

  • The National Children’s Alliance (the entity that accredits Children’s Advocacy Centers nationally) has awarded the Prevention Center funding to develop protocols and trainings to support Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) served at the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). We’re thrilled to be one of the four centers across the country to be awarded this competitive grant, and we look forward to working with our public partners to serve youth impacted by sex trafficking.
  • Building on the ideas shared at the 2014 Aspen ThinkXChange, our Executive Director Katie Albright recently joined Ascend/Aspen Institute and other experts across the country to explore two-generation solutions to toxic stress, including how frameworks like Strengthening Families and Protective Factors play a significant role. Hear Katie, an Ascend Fellow and Network partner, in conversation on this important topic here.
  • Last week, the Department on the Status of Women released its annual report on family violence in San Francisco. The San Francisco Examiner highlighted the report and the opening of our Children’s Advocacy Center as a key improvement allowing for “abused children to have a more caring place when dealing with the criminal investigations and healing from trauma.”

Did you know?

New California Law Takes Effect In 2015 For Child Abuse Victims

Sex Abuse Rights (SB 926) – Children who claim they’re victims of a sex crime have until their 40th birthday to file charges, up from their 28th birthday.

“SB926 finally takes into account the fact that many victims of childhood sexual abuse legitimately can take many, many years before they are ready to face their abuser – and the often brutal criminal legal process that goes along with prosecution. The law will only do good – it will help victims who were silenced by the trauma associated with child abuse by giving them the time they need to speak up, and it will still give an accused his or her day in court, still innocent until proven guilty.” – Chris Keane, Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer & former Prevention Center Board Member

Making A Difference: A Community Spotlight – Rachel Castillo

Rachel Castillo, a Bay Area Native, is a graduate of California State University East Bay (Hayward). She is a UX (User Experience) Design Producer at YouTube – and a TALK Line volunteer here at the Prevention Center.

Does YouTube encourage volunteerism?
YouTube is part of the Google family and very much so encourages volunteerism and giving back to the community.There’s an entire program devoted to this exactly called “Googlers Give.” They encourage not only working with the community, but they also match 100% of donations up to $6,000 per year for eligible non-profits. Also, for every hour of volunteerism, they’ll make a donation to the eligible non-profit, in this case, the Prevention Center.

How did you learn about the Prevention Center?
I learned about the Prevention Center in 2010 through a friend who used to work there. At the time, I was working for McGraw-Hill with her and spearheading our corporate volunteer efforts. Our first group activity was helping stuff and address letters for the end of year campaign. Then later in the year, we helped with the holiday party. I ended up leaving McGraw-Hill that following year in 2011, but was always so impressed by the work the Prevention Center did that I told myself I would return in the future to commit more time working with the folks here. In 2014, I told myself there was never going to be the “best” time to get involved, so might as well do it now – at which point I inquired about being a TALK Line volunteer.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer work?
I enjoy being reminded of how much I LOVE the organization as a whole and the people here. The feeling of awe persists week after week at the personal commitment every person at the Prevention Center has to each other, to their volunteers, to all their clients, and to our community. Seeing everyone’s genuine enthusiasm and celebration of the smallest wins, despite their and the community’s struggles, fills my heart deeply and continues to inspire.

What would you say to others about giving back?
I would tell anyone thinking of volunteering at the Prevention Center that I highly encourage it. There has been no more fulfilling experience than to be on the TALK Line and being able to see my clients and the community grow. The deep gratitude and fulfillment I have from the Prevention Center has been invaluable in keeping me personally grounded and connected with my community.

Special thanks to the following foundations for supporting our work:

David Klein Jr. Fund, National Children’s Alliance, Negley Flinn Charitable Trust, Niantic Charitable Trust, Nordstrom, The San Francisco Foundation

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

CAC: Where Harm Stops and Hope and Healing Begin

Learn more about the CAC 

100% Committed

Enabling Parents