Missouri Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Board of Directors recently awarded nearly $1.7 million in funding over four years through its Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Grant Program. This is the first time in CTF history that funds have been specifically allocated to child sexual abuse prevention.

“With these grants, CTF intends to create a lasting and replicable model of safety for children, tailored to the communities in which they live,” said Jim Anderst, MD, MSCI, CTF Program Chair. “These grant funded programs aim to create a culture of sexual abuse prevention in high-risk communities using the strengths of the people who make up the communities and agencies that serve those communities. This is one step in the direction of ending child sexual abuse.”

Through a competitive bid and review process, CTF selected four grantees to receive funding to implement their projects in the Lebanon/Max Creek, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Peters areas. CTF prioritized projects that proposed using a public health approach and implementing multiple interventions to reduce child sexual abuse in zip codes with high counts and rates of reported child sexual abuse.

Overall, the program interventions include writing or revising policies and codes of conduct for child and youth serving organizations, providing the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training for adults, school-based education, and evidence-based therapeutic services for youth with problematic sexual behaviors (YPSB). Learn more about the four child sexual abuse prevention grants at https://ctf4kids.org/child-sexual-abuse-prevention-grants/

“The silence and discomfort that adults face in discussing sexual abuse only protects perpetrators of abuse,” said Emily van Schenkhof, CTF Executive Director.  “CTF is determined to help end the silence around sexual abuse and encourage communities and all Missouri citizens to do more to protect our children.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience child sexual abuse at some point in childhood.  In addition, 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or child’s family knows.

For a complete list of CTF funded programs, please visit https://ctf4kids.org/program-partners/.

The Children’s Trust Fund is Missouri’s foundation for child abuse prevention and works to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect through grant distribution, awareness, public education and partnerships. For more information visit ctf4kids.org.