KAREN FOLEY-SCHAIN, Executive Director
Established - 1997
Statutory authority - Public Act 17a-50
Number of employees - 18
Recurring operating expenses - 16,000,000
Organizational structure - A 16-member interdisciplinary board known as the Children's Trust Fund Council governs the Children's Trust Fund. The council includes legislatively appointed individuals from the business community, the child abuse field, parents and a pediatrician as well as the Commissioners from the Departments of Children and Families, Public Health, Social Services and Education.
The mission of the Children’s Trust Fund is to prevent child abuse and neglect and ensure the positive growth and development of children. The Trust Fund supports local efforts that help families and communities to be responsive to children.
Public Act 17a-50 established the Children’s Trust Fund to fund programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect and that provide resources for families. These programs reach families who are not involved in the DCF system.
The mission of the Children's Trust Fund had led the agency to finding the most effective means of strengthening families, funding a broad range of organizations to implement these programs, conducting research to assess their effectiveness and developing strategies for improving these efforts.
The Trust Fund has found that well-planned community-based programs play an essential role in preventing child abuse and neglect. The Children's Trust Fund programs engage families and others at risk for child abuse or neglect before a crisis occurs. The programs bolster the chances that children will experience a safe and healthy home, have a positive relationship with their parents, and a stable family life - leading to success in school and healthy development through maturity.
The Trust Fund supports a strong evaluation component for its programs. Using the data from ongoing evaluations of programs, the Trust Fund assesses their performance through the Results Based Accountability process.
Most of the families served by Trust Fund programs are poor and face many challenges. Their children are at great risk for a host of developmental problems and a life-time of poverty. Research shows that the Trust Fund programs are improving home environments, decreasing child abuse and neglect, and increasing the odds that children from high-risk families will enter kindergarten ready to learn.
The Trust Fund programs are assisting families in accessing health care, completing high school, becoming employed, obtaining government benefits, establishing non-conflicted households, and becoming better parents. The Trust Fund program participants have healthier parenting attitudes and experience less parenting stress. In addition, the identification of children with developmental or behavioral risks doubled following the training provided to pediatric providers by Trust Fund staff.