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Coordinator: Amy Pratt
Direct Service Grant
Northern Michigan Mobile Child Advocacy Center
Prevention Area Served: Clare and Gladwin Counties
Grant Number: CTFDS 18-18001
Grant Period: FY18-FY21
Coordinator: Bethany Law
Project: The purpose of this project is to empower children, educate parents, strengthen families, and engage with teachers in an effort to coordinate the critical work of protecting children and preventing child abuse and/or neglect in the Michigan Counties of Clare and Gladwin. The target population for this initiative are the first and third grade students in Clare and Gladwin public and private schools and their families who reside in this low income, underserved region. Every child needs a support system that extends from home to school to neighborhoods. The framework selected for this initiative is the Strengthening Families Approach (SFA) as based on its inclusion and application for the whole family. Strengthening Families is an evidence-based family skills assessment designed to increase resilience and reduce risk factors for behavioral, emotional, academic and social problems. SFA builds protective factos by improving family relationships, parenting skills, and improving children's social and life skills (SFA)." The parent/family approach of Strengthening Families will be integrated into the classroom with The Safer, Smarter Schools curriculum. Both programs with their respective broad scope and a more strategic focus will be launched in our selected Counties of Clare County and Gladwin. The Strengthening Families Appraoach and Safer, Smarter Kids support secondary direct prevention programs that are designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and build protective factors. This project utilizes the protective factors that are integral to children as they develop strong self-identities and healthy relationships. But these relationships are not learned nor fostered in a vacuum. Children must have responsible, supportive adult care takers to survive and thrive. A review of the literature predicts children who are nurtured by caring, supportive families are better executive decision makers, practice fewer risk taking behaviors, are better adjusted, accept appropriate boundaries, demonstrate increased frequency of competency both intellectually and in social situations, and practice resiliency when confronted with challenges and opportunities.