Grant Application Entries
Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO)
1411 Algonquin Parkway
Louisville, Kentucky 40210
Collaborating in New Ways to Strengthen the Safety Net that Shields Children and Youth from Violence
This proposal for “Collaborating in New Ways to Strengthen the Safety Net that Shields Children and Youth from Violence” is a joint proposal presented by two established entities based in Louisville, KY: Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO) and Community Shield. ECHO has been a member of Community Shield’s collective impact initiative for many years and is excited to submit this collaborative proposal on behalf of both organizations. The project proposed is aimed at reaching thousands in Louisville who work towards ending violence as well as delivery of programming to children who may be risk for abuse. Each entity brings years of experience to the table, established networks, and complementary missions. ECHO will serve as the fiscal agent and will manage the grant’s goals and objectives, track and record expenditures, provide any program overview, and financial reports.
The goal of the “Collaborating in New Ways to Strengthen the Safety Net that Shields Children and Youth from Violence” project is to utilize the strengths and resources from each entity to offer 10 - 12 webinars over a 12-month period. These webinars will focus on heath disparities (including racial and gender inequity) and its impacts, strategies for parents and caregivers, lessons learned and successes of agencies and systems during COVID-19, and other relevant topics that we will identify from partners. The webinar series will focus on educating and training child welfare professionals, non-profits, community members, and parents and caregivers. Webinars will be recorded and shared on social media for additional viewing and learning opportunities for those who cannot attend.
Both ECHO and Community Shield would have generally offered in person trainings in schools and in the community, but due to Covid-19 both have had to pivot to create online trainings and presentations. The need for continuing these efforts is so critical during these days of isolation and quarantine. Both ECHO and Community Shield have been planning for what topics we would like to offer and potential speakers (including internal experts) to address community needs. The disruption in family life caused by the Covid-19 crisis has increased the risks faced by children and youth, and the closure of schools, in particular, has removed the daily watchful eyes of school personnel and access to trusted adults who can be first responders when they are confused, harmed, or exploited. Both groups work towards shielding children and youth from the negative effects of violence in their homes and community, and expand the knowledge and skills of parents, teachers, and other concerned adults in order to build a more responsive and safer environment around them.
The project we are proposing would give both entities the ability to utilize new technology (an internet-based delivery platform) as a means of educating and empowering the community with prevention information. The program would begin October 1, 2020 and end September 30, 2021.
Executive Director: ECHO’s Executive Director will spend 15% of the grant budget providing direct program services, such as presentations for adult programs and ensuring that program objectives are met and delivered, and goals are achieved while supervising staff and volunteers. $2250
Webinar Coordinator: Community Shield’s Webinar Coordinator will spend 60% of the grant budget executing the following tasks: marketing webinars, creating sign up form, communicating between presenting organizations, coordinating speakers, developing webinar agenda, creating a google document that all speakers can use for planning, coordinating at least two planning meetings for speakers, attending webinars as needed, sending follow up email after event, and coordinating getting the webinars and any supplementary materials up on the website. Each webinar would take about 15 hours of coordination. $9000
Webinar Platform & Fee: Project funds would enable the purchase of equipment and two subscription accounts with Zoom, providing the means for ECHO and Community Shield to reach small and large audiences safely and interact with them. All technology and equipment will be utilized for the following: interactive communication with participants, provide presentations / webinars, marketing, data collection and data analysis. We will also be able to share these resources with the members of Community Shield, as several partners are small agencies with small budgets. This project is a good opportunity for them to be able to offer training, in collaboration with CS and ECHO, that they might not otherwise be able to offer based on their ability to afford a technology platform. $500
Webinar Equipment: Project funds will also allow the purchase of necessary equipment to implement quality webinars, including two webcams, two microphones, and two headsets. $300
3. Speaker Fees & Recognition
Speaker Fee and Recognition Gift: In order to secure notable guest speakers, part of the project budget is reserved for speaker fees and recognition. $1950
4. Marketing & Social Media Advertisement
Marketing & Social Media Advertisement: Social media platforms will be utilized to help promote each event. In addition, Community Shield members will be asked to help share the marketing platform to attract more participation. Funds will be used to boost social media ads through Facebook and other social or print advertisements. $1000
As stated earlier, this project is a new collaboration. Please find information for both organizations in these sections.
ECHO: The mission of Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO) is dedicated to preventing and reducing the impact of child sexual abuse by providing education, advocacy, and support services to the children and families of Metro Louisville. ECHO is a 501C3 nonprofit agency established in 1983, as a community response to the abduction of Ann Gotlib. Ms. Gotlib (born May 5, 1971) was a Russian immigrant who disappeared at the age of 12 from the premises of Bashford Manor Mall in Louisville, Kentucky on June 1, 1983. The case to find her abductor was covered heavily by the Louisville news media and stretched for the next twenty-five years. For more than 30 years, ECHO has served as a catalyst in child abuse prevention education for both children/youth and adults, community awareness about child sexual abuse, and an advocate and support for child victims.
ECHO focuses on providing primary prevention to children and adults. Its programs are evidence-based/evidence-informed, comprehensive prevention presentations that educate and empower children and adults with universal strategies and safety rules that apply to bullying, cyberbullying, digital dangers, and all types of child abuse. ECHO’s program is offered during each fiscal year from July-June and implemented in partnership with public schools, such as Jefferson County Public Schools, private schools, youth-serving organizations, and concerned adults.
-- In 2019, with only 2 employees, ECHO educated and trained over 7200 children & youth as well as providing presentations to over 3600 adults.
-- ECHO was presented the F.A.C.E. (Fearless Advocate Committed to the End) Award from the Face It Movement and Kentucky Youth Advocates in 2019.
-- ECHO was selected as one of twelve agencies in Louisville to serve as a backbone agency to combat trauma in the Louisville area.
Community Shield: Community Shield is fiscally sponsored by the Community Foundation of Louisville. The mission of Community Shield is to protect children and youth from the impact of violence to create hope and the vision is that Metro Louisville is a community that shields all children and youth from violence.
We have recently identified our collective values through a strategic planning process:
-- Equity and Inclusion: We all experience trauma differently and we will use equity as the lens that we do our work through and actively work to represent those most affected. We also value equity of all the diverse members of Community Shield.
-- Respect and Compassion: We do not make assumptions about behaviors or speak for people. We listen without judgement, seek to understand, and respect that people have experienced trauma at many different levels. All Community Shield’s perspectives and experiences are key to growth and success.
-- Transparency: We value transparency of decision-making and communication both internally and externally. Community Shield provides the space for open, honest, and oftentimes difficult conversations.
-- Commitment to Action, Purpose, and Accountability: We know that Collective Impact is a process and we are committed to working towards action to accomplish measurable outcomes and goals. We strive to continually learn and promote effective solutions. There is a sense of ownership and passion for the ability to create positive change.
Community Shield (CS) is a secondary prevention effort aimed at delivering a comprehensive, community-wide response to children’s exposure to violence using a collective impact model. Membership is multi-level, multi-sector and multi-disciplinary (i.e. Center for Women and Families, Maryhurst, Peace Education, Family Scholar House, Home of the Innocents, Department of Community Based Services, and Metro United Way). Each member’s voice is equally weighted for decision-making and planning.
Community Shield defines trauma to include more than just the 10 ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) to also include structural racism and its negative effects on the community. We do the work to educate professionals who work directly with children as well as the various systems of care that serve children and families. Secondary prevention is defined as “intervening and responding to violence that has already occurred in order to stop violence from happening again. It is the Immediate responses after violence has occurred to deal with short-term consequences and prevent future perpetration or victimization.”
-- Yearly conference, the last one was titled “Uprooting Inequity: Personal to Institutional”.
-- Contracting with the McNary Group for backbone support and strategy development.
Rebuilding social media and community awareness, through Facebook & Instagram - both of which have grown tremendously (i.e Facebook reaches over 750 people).
-- CS allows members an intentional opportunity for information sharing about issues, services, programs and funding possibilities. This helps to discover gaps and needs in the community. (For example, a member shared that PPE was not available to social workers who were entering homes when COVID-19 first started spreading. After sharing this need, the members rallied and found the needed PPE. Another “win” was building trust between a couple of the large organizational partners and seeing a strained relationship healed due to coming together in CS).
ECHO has 2 paid staff. As a collective impact initiative, Community Shield is made up of close to 40 agencies and private citizens, all volunteers. Community Shield contracts with the McNary Group for project management services. ECHO will work with McNary Group for the Webinar Coordinator role. McNary Group will dedicate 30% of its time on this grant to assisting ECHO with 4 webinars and providing data for reporting and the other 70% will be dedicated to Community Shield to assist with at least another 6-8 webinars.
ECHO: ECHO stands by its guiding values to promote child abuse prevention and provide the following goals:
-- Increase knowledge of sexual abuse concepts and safety to 300 children & youth.
-- Educate and train 500 professionals and concerned adults about child welfare issues, such as, but not limited to: child sexual abuse & prevention, the health equity of children during a crisis, the impact of racism and children, and youth violence.
-- Provide 12-15 webinar presentations during the grant period to increase behavioral skills and preventative action.
ECHO’s objectives are to:
-- Demonstrate increased knowledge about various types of abuse and victimization through training platforms for both children and adults.
-- Increase communication between children and adults regarding children’s safety and how to respond appropriately to unsafe situations.
-- Increase community knowledge of equity and the role it plays in services and policies.
-- Community sharing of strategies, creative solutions and learned lessons in addressing equity, making changes to adapt to COVID-19 and creating programing that addresses trauma, ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and resilience.
Community Shield: Moving beyond service coordination, the Community Shield partners align efforts, leverage resources, and deliver a community-wide response in order to:
-- Build a community of practice by utilizing a technology platform, project management, developing and disseminating educational materials, contracting with expert trainers, hosting conferences and marketing.
-- Advance equity to combat violence through system change and community awareness by enhancing communication efforts and creating a professional website, among other activities.
-- Grow the reach and impact to be able to fully implement a collective impact initiative (i.e. securing adequate backbone support to lead facilitation, communication, fund development, implementation of shared goals, accountability, and engagement of new partners).
We are proposing this project as a way to continue the critical work of community awareness building, professional training, and education for issues impacting children during these times of social distancing and quarantine. Both ECHO and Community Shield address violence prevention, and we do it in complementary ways. Training and education about secondary violence prevention and child abuse prevention are needed as children are isolated and we know that abuse is a public health crisis that impacts everyone in the community because it crosses all income levels, ethnicities, cultures, religions, and levels of education. Children comprise only about 25% of the U.S population, however they are the most victimized segment of our society. Child abuse and neglect affect over 1 million children a year as stated by Prevent Child Abuse America. According to Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, 56,843 Child Protective Services (CPS) reports met criteria for investigation or assessment in 2017 with a total of 78,292 children involved in those reports.
The impact of child maltreatment can be profound. Research shows that child maltreatment is associated with adverse health and mental health outcomes in children and families, and those negative effects can last a lifetime. In addition to the impact on the child, child abuse and neglect affect various systems, including physical and mental health, law enforcement, judicial and public social services, and nonprofit agencies as they respond to the incident and support the victims. One analysis of the immediate and long-term economic impact of child abuse and neglect suggests that child maltreatment cost the nation as much as $258 million each day, or approximately $94 billion each year according to Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky.
Programming for children and adults becomes incredibly important when faced with a crisis like COVID-19. It is our sincere hope that children who have been spending much more time at home than usual, are able to speak up and speak out if they are being abused or neglected. In addition, it is the responsibility of adults to protect children, so we are tasked with providing education to parents and adults that “if they see something, they should do something”!
We believe to solve these problems we must work together by pooling our knowledge and resources and engage in collective sharing. This project will allow us to adjust to challenges COVID-19 presents of large in-person gatherings while still allowing opportunities for expansive information sharing and learning. While COVID-19 has many negative impacts, it has also taught us to be nimbler and think outside the box. We want to share the creativity throughout our community with the hope it will be replicated in other settings.
Both ECHO and Community Shield are proactive and engaged leaders in the community and we know there is much work to do to end violence against children and to help them cope with the affects after it has occurred. Unfortunately, Kentucky currently has the highest child abuse rates in the U.S. According to the “child maltreatment” report from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kentucky had 22,410 victims of child abuse in 2017.
We know that a reactive approach will NOT work as only 31% of children tell someone about abuse within the first year, only 55% of reported incidents are investigated by CPS and only 29% of reported incidents lead to police arrests. Because of Covid-19, it has become impossible for us to go out and convene people in person for essential training and education, so we want to be able to offer these services online. Our partners are asking for additional training, sharing of resources and strategies to support their clients/customers, staff and organizations.
ECHO and Community Shield work with many partners in the work to end violence against children. All of these partners would be invited to be participants of the proposed webinar series as presenters and promoters. This network of agencies, large and small will allow us to assess the topics of greatest desire, have large online audiences, and get the word out about the series to thousands. Some of these other initiatives include:
-- 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. This movement focuses on a three-pronged approach with an emphasis on education and awareness, as well as best practices when working with children and families to prevent or identify and respond to child abuse and neglect.
-- The Louisville Trauma Resilient Community (TRC) has selected The Center for Women & Families, Family & Children’s Place, and ECHO among others as a backbone agency for the next five years. As an essential partner, ECHO will promote resiliency and equity for families most affected by trauma. The goals of TRC include: (1) increasing the region's capacity to provide racially, ethically, and culturally-inclusive, trauma-focused interventions and (2) enhancing coordination and alignment of the work of the city and community organizations to promote healing and recovery from race-based trauma and community-violence.
-- Bounce -The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky's Investing in Kentucky's Future initiative funded the Bounce Coalition. They recently secured backbone support from Kentucky Youth Advocates. Bounce does the following:
-- Educates and trains to build resilient children and families.
-- Strengthens referral networks when more help is needed.
-- Measures impact. We provide consultation and evaluation services to measure impact and institutionalize healing-centered practices.
-- Advocates for policies that support trauma-informed communities.
The partnership between ECHO and Community Shield is a unique and natural collaboration and one that will be able to have a far and wide reach in Jefferson County. ECHO is one of the only nonprofits in Louisville, KY that solely offers child abuse prevention education to both children and adults. ECHO’s primary focus is to educate and empower the voices of children, as well as increasing the adult’s knowledge of how to recognize, react, and report child abuse. Community Shield is the only collective impact initiative aimed at addressing secondary prevention of violence.
We will utilize process measures including documentation that project deliverables have been completed as well as impact measures like tracking webinar metrics, webinar attendance, and organizational participation. We will also send out post-evaluation surveys to gauge usefulness and effectiveness of webinars.
While we can’t guarantee that the services that we are funded to carry with this grant will continue, we will be continually be identifying funding partners who believe in the mission and effectiveness of the services we offer. We hope to learn a lot during this project and if we feel like this is a project that was successful and worthy of continuing, we will certainly seek additional funding in the future.
Currently, programs are free of charge for participating public schools, youth-serving organizations, and other social service nonprofits.
ECHO currently spends four percent (4%) of total budget for fundraising.
ECHO currently spends fourteen percent (14%) of total budget for administrative costs.
Neither ECHO nor Community Shield has received any prior grants from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation.