Apr 30, 2020
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Katie Albright, Chief Executive Officer

A Look Back on Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dear Friends,

On this last day of Child Abuse Prevention Month, I hope that you and your family, friends, and colleagues are healthy and well. It’s been a month filled with challenges that have not only tested our resilience as individuals, but as communities.

Throughout April, Safe & Sound has shared news about how COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders have impacted children, families, and communities — from children’s education being interrupted, to parents and caregivers experiencing unemployment and income loss, communities struggling to ensure safety for families, and meeting needs with growing scarcity. Any of these challenges alone are stressful, but combined, significantly increase the risk of child abuse or neglect.

When I think about how critical our work is now, I feel deeply concerned and saddened about the health and safety of children and families, the economic vitality of our community, and the inequities that continue to deepen. But I also feel hope, encouraged by the work of Safe & Sound’s team and volunteers, our government leaders, our partners in the Family Resource Center (FRC) Alliance, and the incredible support of our donor community.

We have truly come together on behalf of vulnerable children and families. We have so many people to thank for support during this month alone. I welcome you to visit our COVID-19 page for a full list of individuals, families, organizations, and government partners who have joined with us to strengthen families and protect children.

Safe & Sound’s programs and services quickly pivoted to address client needs in response to sheltering-in-place. We continue to deliver emergency groceries and supplies to families, conduct weekly check-ins, parenting programs, and classes virtually, and our TALK Line expanded capacity for more calls. In the past weeks alone, we have been partnering with the City & County of San Francisco, Help a Mother Out, the Manus Family Foundation, and the San Francisco Giants to deliver 73,526 diapers, 2,800 pounds of baby formula, 8,000 rolls of toilet paper, 500 shampoos, 690 bars of soap, and 1,200 masks (with more than 4,200 on the way) to the 26 Family Resource Centers and child care centers in our community.

This partnership has been amazing, innovative, and truly hopeful. We are grateful and inspired by everyone who has contributed towards supporting families, both in big ways and small. We thank you for your generosity, which will help families today, tomorrow, and in the weeks and months to come. 

While we can’t predict how long this crisis will continue, we anticipate that the need for services will exponentially increase as families find themselves with little stability and in-need of significant support when the shelter-in-place orders are lifted.

Safe & Sound’s priorities will be to provide stability and recovery to meet the needs of families, no matter how or where. With the Protective Factors as our foundation, our services will focus on:

  • Intensive Outreach: Needs Assessments, Information & Referrals
  • Enrollment Support (for both existing and newly-created programs for unemployment and health care)
  • Access to Housing & Food Pantries
  • Enhanced Crisis & Mental Health Support
  • Social Connections & Community Events
  • Access to Child Development Specialists

This will certainly include the FRC Alliance, which we intend to sustain organizationally through advocacy, research, and raising awareness to increase family access to benefits. Our collaborative efforts will also examine enhancements to infrastructure, disaster preparedness planning, and data collection and evaluation. Our work doesn’t stop during a crisis — it is ever more vital. 

This year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month is coming to a close, but we cannot and will not stop working to strengthen families and protect children. We do this work for the vulnerable and voiceless, and we do this work together. Thank you for your partnership and for being with us as we work on building a community for safe children, strong families, and sound communities.

With gratitude,

Katie

P.S. Your meaningful donations help struggling families manage during this crisis. Thank you for helping us meet their needs by sharing your support now!