The American Legion Children & Youth Conference was held virtually Saturday, Sept. 17, where two American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (CWF) recipients spoke about how the grant supported their programs – Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky and The National Children’s Cancer Society.
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky received a $3,193 CWF grant in 2022 to fund the printing and distribution of educational materials to military families on child sexual abuse prevention and unintentional injuries in the home prevention. The mission of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is to prevent the abuse and neglect of Kentucky’s children through advocacy, awareness, education and trainings.
The educational materials that the CWF grant helped create were:
- Are They Good for Your Kids postcard. The QR code on the postcard directs to a special landing page on the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky website (www.pcaky.org) that helps parents and caregivers identify how the people they bring into their life can impact their children.
- How to Talk to Children About Body Safety (ages 2 and up). “We created this tool as a cheat sheet, so parents didn’t have to feel alone. They had tools to learn how to talk to their kids,” said Janna Estep Jordan, MSW, director of Operations and Prevention Education at Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky.
- Home Safety Check-List. The checklist addresses the prevention of unintentional injury through safe medication storage, swimming pool safety, lawnmower safety and more.
- How to Talk to Children About Home Safety. After parents talk to their kids about home safety with this guide, “and they become empowered with this knowledge, they receive a Prevention Pals certificate. “We never want kids to be responsible for their safety; that’s the job of adults,” Jordan said. “But we do want to empower our kids so that they know right from wrong.”
Five hundred each of these educational materials were delivered to Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky partners who serve military families across the state.
“We know that all of these things (addressed above) are 100 percent preventable when education and awareness are given to these families,” Jordan shared. “What we know is that for every $1 we invest in preventions of projects like this, we later save $4 in services that would be provided after maltreatment occurred.
“I personally want to thank you all because this project is something that we’re seeing some very good feedback from, and it would not have been possible without these funds and your support. So thank you.”
The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) of St. Louis received a $25,000 American Legion Child Welfare Foundation grant in 2022 to help produce a promotional brochure that educates families about the organization’s programs, and to support its Transportation Assistance Fund to ensure children with cancer have access to life-saving treatment.
Since its founding in 1987, the programs NCCS offers “ease the financial burdens that accompany a diagnosis, give crucial support and comfort, and address the challenges of survivorship,” said Jessica Cook, MSW, vice president of Patient and Family Services at NCCS.
NCCS has provided more than $68 million to over 47,000 children with cancer through its Transportation Assistance Fund and Emergency Assistance Fund. The Transportation Assistance Fund alleviates the financial burden of travel and lodging for families who have a child with cancer. And the Emergency Assistance Fund provides a $300 stipend to families who have a child that has been inpatient or away from home for 15 consecutive days. It may be used for living expenses, meals, childcare, health insurance premiums and other healthcare costs.
The NCCS brochure created with the support of the CWF grant addresses these two funds, as well as other resources offered including the Family Support Program, Beyond the Cure survivorship program, a coloring book for elementary school children that shares common misconceptions about childhood cancer, an activity book for children ages 8-12, a guide for teenagers that talks about their cancer experience, and a parent guide to help families through every phase of their child’s cancer journey.
“Our families are inundated with so much information at the time of their child’s diagnosis, and so to just be able to hand them this brochure (funded by the CWF) to let them know all of the range of services the NCCS provides and that we are there for them every step of the way is crucial to the families we support,” Cook said.