02 Nov Metro Area Initiative to End Child Abuse Marks Three Years of Progress
(Louisville, KY, November 2, 2016) – In 2013, Kosair Charities actively took on an issue that can be tough to talk about but is a tragic reality for many children: child abuse and neglect. The Face It Movement was launched, and has been working with community partners ever since to prevent and end child abuse in our community.
The 2016 Face It Movement Progress Report highlights the campaign’s accomplishments over its first three years of work.
“We now have nearly 30 partners actively working with us, including nonprofit agencies, educational institutions, government and civic agencies, and many others to tackle child abuse together,” said Jerry Ward, Chairman of the Board of Kosair Charities. “We have raised the profile of child abuse and neglect and really mobilized our whole community to take action to prevent abuse.”
Face It’s efforts to end child abuse can be seen from classrooms to the Capitol building. The Movement partnered with the Archdiocese of Louisville to train 200 teachers and more than 8,000 students each year for the past two years. The “Speak Up Be Safe” curriculum equips children in grades K-6 and their adult community with the skills they need to play a role in the prevention or interruption of neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Each year Face It partners promote a state policy agenda during the Kentucky General Assembly, and a number of Face It policies have made it into law, including: the creation and funding of a child fatality review panel, ensuring all public school educators receive training about child abuse and neglect, and broadening the scope of a child’s testimony in court.
Face It has supported a number of resources to help professionals who work with children better understand how they can recognize and prevent abuse, including employees and volunteers in youth programs and child care providers.
Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) created access to a portal for child care providers to access many resources about strengthening families and preventing abuse. “With the support of Face It and Kosair Charities, 4-C was able to provide access to child abuse and neglect prevention professional development materials for over 2,000 child care providers,” said Janet Masterson, executive director of 4-C. “Child care professionals are now better equipped to help prevent abuse and also recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, ensuring children are safe in their care.”
Face It knows that young people play a pivotal role in the long-term efforts to end child abuse in our community, and they partnered with Peace Education Program to work with nearly 800 youth in schools and neighborhood sites to teach conflict resolution and mediation skills. Peace Education Program’s executive director Eileen Blanton notes the lasting difference that these trainings can have. “Face It made it possible for Peace Ed to teach conflict resolution skills to hundreds of young people in our schools and neighborhoods. Youth who are exposed to high levels of conflict and violence in their daily lives are now making peace their first choice.”
Even with all of this progress over the past three years, there is still a long way to go to. “Ending child abuse is a long journey with many steps. There is no magic wand to end child abuse—and that is exactly why we have made such a comprehensive and long-term commitment,” said Jerry Ward. “And think of how this movement could grow throughout the state. Imagine a Face It in Owensboro or Lexington or eastern Kentucky.”
To view the full 2016 Face It Progress Report and see a complete list of Face It partners, please visit: www.faceitabuse.org.
About the Face It® Movement: The Face It® Movement, conceived and created in 2012 as a response to the public outcry against the increasing number of child abuse deaths in the Commonwealth, officially launched in April 2013 as an initiative led by Kosair Charities. Face It directly addresses the unacceptable incidences of child abuse and neglect in Kentucky with the promotion of best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, engaging the community, and advocating for effective policies to improve the child welfare system. For further information visit faceitabuse.org. Socially, Facebook: www.facebook.com/faceitabuse, Twitter: twitter.com/faceitabuse.