DID YOU KNOW
Telos Commits $25K to Expand Community Schools Initiative
May 7, 2019 Loudoun Now
How Donor Advised Funds Create Opportunities to Give
The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (Community Foundation) has deep expertise and knowledge not only of our community’s needs, but also of our nonprofit landscape. They also can help people who don’t have millions create donor advised funds or help them find an existing fund to which to contribute. If you want to give back, but don’t know where to start, take a moment to read a letter from Amy Owen, Community Foundation president and CEO, about how they can help you set up a nimble and flexible donor advised fund:
Decent, Stable Housing Can Act as a ‘Vaccine’ Against Underdevelopment in Children
Housing subsidies can actually act like a vaccine for children in food-insecure households, because stable housing protects them from biologically being affected by their food insecurity. Stable, decent housing gives children some immunity and resilience against future threats to their health. In fact, children whose parents receive housing subsidies that free up available money for food are two times less likely to be underweight than similar kids who were food insecure and eligible for a food housing voucher but not receiving it. The researcher who made the connection, Dr. Megan T. Sandel is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health and development. She said that her “eureka” moment was when her 2-year-old patient, who had fallen way behind on the growth chart suddenly started sprouting after the child’s family moved from an overcrowded, unsuitable apartment to a better one. “The prescription that this child needed was a stable, decent, affordable home. They don’t stock those at the pharmacy.” Read the entire article here.
Educating America During Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health Month, and this year, Mental Health America is educating people about habits and behaviors that can increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or even could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Risk factors include risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, compulsive buying or excessive spending, marijuana use and excessive exercise. If you know of someone who engages in these risk factors, May might be a good time to let them know about Mental Health America and its Risky Business toolkit for help.
Preventing Child Abuse By Identifying Risk Factors
|Age and poverty are two of the top risk factors for child abuse, according to long-time 100WomenStrong grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). The group, through its Healthy Families Program, works to halt child abuse and neglect, as well as to prevent its occurrence in the first place. To help you and others recognize and intervene, Healthy Families shared the following leading risk factors during National Child Abuse Prevention Month:|
Age: In cases of neglect, younger children are more at risk because they are less likely to be able to defend themselves, speak up for themselves or remove themselves from harm’s way. In cases of sexual abuse, risk increases with the child’s age.
Learning disability, congenital anomaly, or chronic or recurrent illness: Challenges such as these make physical and emotional abuse and neglect more common.
Poverty and/or financial hardship: High stress takes a severe toll on parents’ ability to tolerate frustration. In addition, working long hours — a common result of working multiple jobs — can impede parents’ awareness of their child’s emotional well-being or whether there is abuse occurring when the child is under someone else’s care.
Another family member is experiencing domestic violence: In 30 to 60 percent of families where spousal abuse takes place, child maltreatment also occurs.
You can help children in your community:
Reporting abuse when you suspect it is the primary way to combat child abuse.
Loudoun County Agencies & Nonprofits Highlight Area Needs and Outline Recommendations for Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and area nonprofits and county agencies are putting the focus on ways to detect and intervene on behalf of area children. This is an important initiative, given that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, there were 1,355 children involved in valid cases of child abuse and neglect in Loudoun County. A report spearheaded by 100WS grant recipient Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), highlighted dichotomies in Loudoun County – such as median household incomes that are more than double the national average, while one out of 25 school-age children in the country lives in poverty. Called Resilient Children, Resilient Loudoun!, the report was created by the Loudoun County Partnership for Resilient Children & Families Steering Committee, which includes 100WomenStrong grant recipients HealthWorks, INMED Partnerships for Children, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) Loudoun Child Advocacy Center, and county agencies and public service organizations. They explored the changes that have taken place that are impacting families and explored recommendations for how to:
- Increase community outreach to underserved and isolated families in Loudoun County;
- Make supports and services more accessible to parents;
- Improve and increase reporting of children in danger of abuse or neglect; and
- Increase funding and support for Loudoun County human service providers.
County’s Healthy Status May Mask Needs
Children who experience hunger before age 4 lag behind their peers for years
A recent study on hunger shows that a hungry child suffers for years after experiencing the hunger. It also suggests that children who experience food insecurity early in life are more likely to lag behind in social, emotional and to some degree, cognitive skills when they begin kindergarten. In fact, the younger the children were when the family struggled with hunger, the stronger the effect on their performance once they started school. For example, children who suffer food insecurity at 9 months old were more likely to have lower reading and math scores in kindergarten than 9-month-olds who didn’t experience food insecurity. Published in the recent Child Development journal, the study reinforces prior research that has shown that children who enter kindergarten behind, stay behind and do not catch up. Food insecurity affects an estimated 13.1 million children live across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The effect of food insecurity lasts a lifetime.
Homelessness A Reality for Many Community College Students
Homelessness and hunger among college students is widespread. It exists in all regions of the country and is not isolated to urban or high-poverty areas, according to a new study of more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges across the country. The researchers found that 14 percent of respondents were homeless, and one in three were going hungry while pursuing a degree. To make it worse, they found that nearly a third of the students who were going without food or shelter did hold jobs and/or received financial aid. In tandem, many school administrators and policymakers presume that because community colleges cost a fraction of most four-year universities, the costs are easily covered.
Why Pre-K Education Could Be One of the Best Ways to Reduce Crime
The return on investment in high-quality early-childhood education has as much as a 13-percent return in terms of better education, health and social and economic outcomes for the children who receive it, according to the Heckman Equation’s Lifecyle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program study. According to their findings, the biggest “chunk of the return on investment” is a reduction in crime, especially for males. Learn more about the ROI of early childhood education here.
Impoverished Children Often Grow into Adulthood with Both Physical and Psychological Problems
Research shows that poor children grow up to have a host of physical and psychological problems as adults, according to research from Cornell University and others. Cornell’s study – which lasted for 15 years – showed that impoverished children in the study had more antisocial conduct such as aggression and bullying, and increased feeling of helplessness, than kids from middle-income backgrounds. However, early intervention to prevent some issues associated with poverty could help. Read the full article, including some potential solutions from Cornell’s researchers, here.