In this issue: Foster care keeps kids safe, and April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Foster Care Keeps Children Safe

Keeping children safe is at the heart of Youth In Need’s mission. Without safety, nothing else can happen, and during the COVID pandemic, when the world shut down, Youth In Need’s foster care case managers stayed on the front lines making sure children in foster care found loving homes.

The Children’s Permanency Partnership (CPP), made up of employees from Youth In Need, Epworth and FamilyForward, was the best in the state providing foster care case management and adoption services for the St. Louis region.

How good?

  • 96.7 percent of CPP youth did not re-enter care with the Children’s Division.
  • 31.39 percent of CPP youth found permanent placement with a family—“forever homes.”
  • 99.89 percent of CCP youth remained safe and healthy without substantiated claims of child abuse and neglect.

“When we got the numbers for the year, I told all the staff at CPP that they rocked it and thanked them for their dedication to the children and families we serve,” said Brenda Maly, CPP’s CEO.

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.

According to Vision for Children at Risk, each year, some 15,000 incidents of abuse and neglect involving over 20,000 children are reported in the four Missouri counties of the St. Louis region. Nearly 1,000 of these incidents are substantiated as abused and another 8,000 are considered at risk and designated for further family support.

What can you do about it?

  • Participate in a free online virtual training. The Child Center has several free online training events in April, including how to keep your child safe online. The Saint Louis Crisis Nursery is holding its annual conference virtually in April, and it’s free to participate.
  • Share information on social media. Use the hashtag #UnmaskAbuse to bring awareness to the events taking place and information being shared throughout the month.
  • Display a yard sign. Visit Vision for Children at Risk to get free yard signs and pinwheels to show support.
  • Go blue on April 9. Wear blue to spread awareness and start the conversation about child abuse. Snap a picture, and share on social media with the hashtag #UnmaskAbuse.
  • Talk with your children. Check out The Child Center’s recommendations for books and handouts to help you talk with your children.
  • Demand justice from elected officials. Learn more about advocacy opportunities in your community.