Do you wonder if your gifts are really making a dent in the problem of child abuse? Well, we have some great outcomes to report.
The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program at Casa de los Niños, an in-home prevention program that helps transform the lives of vulnerable mothers, had their first graduating class. Sixteen of these first time mothers enrolled before they were 7 months pregnant – 91% of these moms delivered healthy babies and have demonstrated good, healthy parenting skills for their children. We saw a significant decrease in smoking, alcohol and substance use, and 96% of the infants are current on immunizations!
It is clear that the relationship between mother and nurse provides the foundation for strong families, and lives are forever changed — for the better.
But, there is still work to be done. We have a crisis in foster care in this state. You may have heard in the past that it is nearly impossible to find placements for teens, school aged kids, and sibling groups and that siblings are being separated in foster care…that is still true. But now, we have an even bigger problem. Pima County is out of beds for children of all ages. Within the last two weeks our foster care program received requests to find homes for a 2-year old boy and a 4-month old girl that no one in Pima County could place. When there is no foster home for kids like this, they end up staying longer in our shelter, or sent out of the area, making reunification work that much harder. We currently have 172 kids in 87 Casa de los Niños Foster Care homes and we are doing everything we can to identify new foster homes and provide the training and resources these families need to accept children – but it is a slow process.
So, how do we fix this problem? We stay the course and remain true to the mission of Casa de los Niños to prevent abuse before is happens. All of the children I mentioned in the news about our Nurse-Family Partnership could very likely have ended up on the path of abuse, neglect, shelter and foster care rather than home, living with their parents in a safe, healthy environment. It is estimated that every dollar spent in prevention can yield as much as a twenty-five dollar return in savings. These programs change the life trajectories for both mother and child, benefiting multiple generations.
Your gifts are an investment in the future and are truly making a difference. Thank you so much for your commitment and support.