Community health researchers support program that aims to reduce family separation

When children are removed from their family’s home due to cases of neglect, the cause is often rooted in poverty and other systemic issues. In fact, according to the federal Children's Bureau, three-quarters of child welfare cases involve reports of neglect, including many thousands that result in family separation each year. 

To reduce family separation in Louisiana, Casey Family Foundation has funded an initiative called My Community Cares and brought in the KU Center for Community Health and Development in order to provide support for the initiative. The center developed and offered an intensive three-day, in-person training for 60 people, and has provided ongoing monthly technical assistance. 

"A group of women sit at a table and listen as one of the women speaks"

My Community Cares "applies a neighborhood-based approach to reduce the number of children who experience abuse or neglect, keep children and parents together, and connect families to available resources and support" according to the information page on the program from the Casey Family Foundation website.

The training sessions were structured with a resource developed by CCHD, the Community Toolbox. Discussions included information on building partnerships, developing a plan of action, advocacy and sustaining benefits over time. Follow-up sessions addressed challenges that have developed in the implementation of these objectives. 

"A woman points to a picture on a wall of a diagram in one image; in another image papers with writing are posted to a blue board"

More information about the My Community Cares initiative is available through the Casey Family Program, which is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America.