Children’s Trust Fund awards grants

Published 6:45 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

The Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama awarded more than $300,000 in grants Friday to organizations in Dallas and the surrounding counties that work to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The grant award ceremony was held at Arsenal Place Accelerator, where five different agencies were awarded grants. Agencies in Dallas County that were given grants were Central Alabama Regional Child Advocacy Center, the Children’s Policy Council of Dallas County, and the Dallas County Resource Center.

The Pickens County Family Resource Center and BAMA Kids, Inc. in Wilcox County were also awarded grants.

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Sallye Longshore, executive director of the Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama, which is also known at the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, said funding these organizations is an important part of stopping abuse and neglect before it happens.

“It is these grassroots community efforts that are going in and working and strengthening families to help prevent child maltreatment,” Longshore said Friday.

“We love to have these check presentations to honor them and just let the community know that we are in partnership with them.”

According to the national statistics on child abuse from the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, an estimated five children die on a daily basis from abuse or neglect.

“It is a huge issue, and you only have to look in the newspaper every day or online news,” Longshore said.

“Rarely does a day go by where you don’t see somebody that is accused or a somewhat horrible thing that has gone on, but so much of it can be prevented.”

Longshore said the programs in and around Dallas County focus on strengthening families, which is the key to preventing abuse and neglect.

Dane Shaw, who heads the Fatherhood Initiative in Selma, said the program benefits greatly from the grants they get from the department.

“They were one of the first grants for us to come in here and start a fatherhood program, and what it’s done is actually help train dads in parenting to be better fathers,” Shaw said.

Seventy percent of the fathers that come through the Fatherhood Initiative have gotten jobs after completing the program, Shaw said.

The initiative received a grant for $37,500 under the Children’s Policy Council of Dallas County. Another local program that received funding is the Whole Parent Program, which is run by the Dallas County Family Resource Center, which received a grant of almost $39,000.

The Central Alabama Regional Child Advocacy Center, which serves five counties including Dallas, Bibb, Perry, Hale and Wilcox, was awarded $10,000.