AUSTIN, Texas – August 25, 2015 – Upbring today released its first in a series of white papers that will share models and success stories to better educate readers about child abuse prevention, child health and wellbeing, and community empowerment efforts in Texas.
“At Upbring, we believe that all of us have a role to play in the health, wellbeing and safety of the children in our communities,” said Dr. Kurt Senske, President and CEO of Upbring. “In order to empower Texas communities to raise healthy kids in stable families, we are providing roadmaps that address key factors in child abuse prevention and offer examples where communities have successfully strengthened their prevention and support efforts.”
The white paper, titled How can Strong Communities transform community norms and structures to promote children’s safety and well-being?, is the first in a series that will include recommendations on trauma-informed education, the medical needs of children in foster care, life skills development, and other issues facing children in the Texas child welfare system.
In this first white paper, researchers from the University of Colorado Schools of Medicine and Public Health chronicle the program Strong Communities for Children’s (Strong Communities’) efforts to develop a neighborhood-based child protection system in two South Carolina counties and recount the volunteer-dependent program’s initial, positive findings. Over a period of seven years, with the aid of hundreds of volunteer organizations including churches, fire and police departments, civic organizations, neighborhood associations, businesses, and schools, the Strong Communities service area saw a marked decrease in reports of child abuse and neglect, as well as decreases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for injuries in children under four. Parents also reported feeling less stressed, more supported and more confident that they can make a difference.
The paper further details the theoretical framework, model and strategies that guided Strong Communities, providing approaches for measuring effectiveness and adaptations that can be replicated in other communities.
The white paper series is part of Upbring’s ongoing focus on breaking the cycle of child abuse in Texas through excellence in services, advocacy, and thought leadership. Together with its strategic partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Goodwill of Central Texas and the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, Upbring is developing a continuum of services that will build protective factors in health, education, safety, life skills, and vocation for all Texas children.
You’re invited to join our email list to receive updates on future white papers and research efforts – Upbring.org/joinus
Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is a 134 year-old nonprofit organization with a rich legacy of serving vulnerable people across Texas. Its mission is to empower children, families and communities. Upbring serves more than 30,000 people annually and provides innovative programs and services for children including foster care, adoption, education, residential treatment, and community services. For more information, visit Upbring.org.
Jennifer Schattle, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Upbring
(512) 545-3965 | [email protected]