COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) will receive $3.74 million over five years to support the development of comprehensive child and family well-being systems designed to prevent child abuse and neglect. The OCTF was one of six entities nationwide to receive a federal Family Support Through Primary Prevention grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. In Ohio, the funding will be used to support the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council’s recommendations for preventing child maltreatment.
“Through this grant opportunity, the Governor’s Children’s Initiative will partner with the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to build upon the transformative work that is already being done in Ohio,” said Kristi Burre, director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiative. “Preventing child maltreatment requires a collective commitment to strengthening and supporting families in their own communities. This grant will help create the conditions necessary for Ohio’s families and children to grow and thrive.”
The grant will fund multiple prevention initiatives, including the establishment of a Cross-Sector Implementation and Planning Team, which will be tri-chaired by the Governor’s Children’s Initiative, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), and a parent representative. Together, they will develop a collaborative strategy and shared vision for child abuse and neglect prevention.
“We are extremely excited that the Administration for Children and Families has invested in Ohio’s efforts to align prevention programming across agencies,” said OCTF Executive Director Lindsay Williams. “This project represents a cross-agency, system-wide effort to coordinate prevention strategies that promote family resiliency, enhance parenting practices, and reduce social isolation, disparities, and racial inequities. Our goal is to help families navigate stressful situations without the need for children services intervention.”
The grant will further efforts to ensure that a broad array of preventative services is available to families in underserved communities. Collective impact strategies, informed by social determinants of health research, will seek to strengthen families and enhance their “protective factors,” such as resiliency, social connections, and access to community-based resources. These strategies will be piloted locally through competitively selected demonstration sites.
“Ohio is committed to transforming the children services system to be more proactive and prevention-focused, and this grant will greatly assist in those efforts,” said ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder. “Creating a statewide, collaborative strategy for child abuse and neglect prevention requires dedicated leadership at both the state and local level, and I believe we have the right leaders at the table.”
Learn more at OCTF.ohio.gov.
The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund is the state’s sole public funding source dedicated to preventing abuse and neglect. Housed within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund works with its partners in every county to serve all Ohio communities.