Local agencies receive $1.7 million from Alabama Children’s Trust Fund 01.18.24

January 18, 2024

Local agencies receive $1.7 million from Alabama Children’s Trust Fund

MOBILE, Ala. — The Alabama Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) secures resources to fund evidence-based community programs committed to the prevention of child maltreatment. Sallye Longshore, Executive Director of the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, presented a check this week to agencies in Mobile and Baldwin counties in the amount of $1,738,750.

“The Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention looks forward each year to participating in our annual district check presentations. These events provide opportunities to highlight the outstanding work of our agency’s funded programs in each of the state’s seven Congressional Districts,” said Longshore. “These community-based entities implement evidence-based programs to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect in Alabama.”

Along with the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD), the agencies sharing this funding from the First Congressional District are AltaPointe Health Systems, Auburn University, Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Gulf Coast, Coastal Family Partners, Crittenton Youth Services, Embrace Alabama, Goodwill Gulf Coast, Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services, Prestwick Community Outreach, The Family Center, United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, United Methodist Inner City Mission, and United Way of Southwest Alabama..

Representing MCHD were Pebbles King, the Bureau Director of Community and Nutrition Services; Cmdr. Curtis Graves, Program Administrator for the Fatherhood Initiative; and Ernest G. Scott, Program Administrative Support for the Fatherhood Initiative.

“We are appreciative for the opportunity to be a 2024 grantee of CTF,” King said. “This funding allows The Fatherhood Initiative, an evidence-based program designed to educate and develop Mobile County men and women, to be better caregivers for their family and leaders in their community.”

MCHD received $110,000 to assist with its Fatherhood Initiative. The program equips parents with the skills necessary to be a positive influence in their children’s lives.

A participant in the Fatherhood Initiative spoke during the check presentation at Mobile Government Plaza on his powerful experience.

“I never had a father growing up and I did not want to follow in those footsteps,” said Carlos Dials. “I became a father, then I did the same to my son.”

“The Fatherhood Initiative gave me the tools I needed to lay down a solid foundation. This program has helped me out a lot.”

“The Mobile County Health Department’s Fatherhood Initiative is incredibly grateful to the Alabama Children’s Trust Fund for its financial and technical support,” said Graves, who is also Director of the Mobile Police Department’s Office of Strategic Initiatives. “We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Through your funding, we have witnessed countless success stories and witnessed the transformational journey of mothers and fathers who have embraced their roles with renewed confidence and commitment. Your investment in our program has not only helped parents improve their parenting skills but has also strengthened family bonds and created a positive ripple effect within our community. We look forward to continuing our partnership and working together to advance the cause of fatherhood.”

The Alabama Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Act was adopted by the Alabama Legislature in 1983 to address the state’s growing problem of child neglect and maltreatment. While several state agencies already existed to deal with different aspects of child abuse, none of these agencies specifically focused on solving the problem before it occurred.

It was clear that Alabama needed to create a state agency dedicated solely to preventing child abuse with funding and staff. To address the problem at its origin, instead of merely addressing the symptoms of what could have been prevented, the Children’s Trust Fund was established. These dollars are intended to provide annual funding of community-based prevention programs throughout the state as well as create a self-sustaining pool to provide for funding these programs in the future.

This year, the agency awarded a total of 202 grants statewide to a range of prevention efforts, including parent education, home visiting, fatherhood, mentoring, respite care, and community awareness programs.

Children’s Trust Fund also partnered with the University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Science and the Center for Business and Economic Research, Culverhouse College of Business, to release the 2021 study on the enormous intervention cost. Services associated with child abuse and neglect incidents are estimated to cost taxpayers $3.7 billion annually. Based on this report and the number of first-time child maltreatment incidences reported, the average intervention cost is $368,416 per case. In contrast, prevention is much more cost-effective. The average cost per participant in an ADCANP/CTF-funded program is $53 for adults and $11 for youth.

To learn more about the Children’s Trust Fund in Alabama, visit www.ctf.alabama.gov.