CTF Conference 2019

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Children’s Trust Fund, Missouri’s Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention, recently held their biennial conference in Columbia, MO. Over 250 people gathered to share ideas and discuss the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Presentations and break-out sessions included home visiting, sexual abuse prevention, strengthening families protective factors, and trauma-informed care.

Mike Howard, CEO of YouthBridge, also serves on the CTF Board of Directors, and attended the conference. “Preventing child abuse and neglect is a shared responsibility and it was great to see people from across Missouri coming together for that purpose,” says Howard. “Some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet are those working directly with children & families every day.”

For those who were unable to attend the conference, here are three important takeaway ideas:

  • We need to talk about sexual abuse of children in order to reduce it! People are uncomfortable talking about it so it gets hushed – we need to shine a light on it to drive out the darkness.
  • There is promising research and multiple pilot programs showing that it is possible to prevent child sexual abuse. As a society we spend billions on post-incident treatment or incarceration of the perpetrators, but very little on prevention.
  • Aside from the social issue, this is an economic issue – we should spend more on prevention which will ultimately decrease the overall cost to society.

The Missouri Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) works to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect through grant distribution, education, awareness and partnerships.

Thank you to those who presented and attended!

Board Members from left to right: Monica Davis, Amy Beechner-McCarthy, Emily van Schenkhof (Executive Director), John B. Heskett, Melissa Birdsell, Michael Howard and Cherisse Thibaut.