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Educational Liaisons Today, Educational Success Tomorrow

Posted by Ty Spisak on October 18th, 2019

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) Awards Child Advocates Crime Prevention Grant for Educational Liaison Program

The Central Indiana Community Foundation, a philanthropic association that offers support to Central Indiana’s not-for-profits, sponsored a 2019 Crime Prevention Grant Program. This program awarded 54 different projects financial grants that aide in short and long-term crime prevention, crime reduction and overall community outreach.

Despite the competitive nature of the grant, CICF selected Child Advocates’ Educational Liaison program as one of the few recipients. The $40,000 grant was awarded based on the Educational Liaison program’s high probability for crime prevention and educational prosperity.

The Educational Liaison Program is no new achievement for Child Advocates. Thanks to an anonymous donation, the youth focused nonprofit introduced the educational initiative and recruited the first two liaison volunteers a decade ago. These volunteers were assigned to foster families/caregivers and were tasked with the goal of bridging the gap between the at-risk children’s families, the child welfare system and their educational administrations.

The Educational Liaisons pursued this goal by integrating themselves into the children’s school systems and starting an inclusive dialogue with all involved parties. The resulting impact was unforeseen. Child Advocates quickly noticed the comprehensive impact the new program had on both the immediate and long-term educational success of the children.

Child Advocates CEO Cindy Booth was pleasantly surprised by just how much of an impact the program had on the children and knew expansion was necessary. “The liaisons helped the influential parties learn how to properly advocate for the child, but they also taught the children how to advocate for themselves. This self-sufficiency is necessary for personal growth and future success,” Booth says.

Many children under the age of 18 in the child welfare system regularly experience trauma, instability and lack an immediate supportive community.  This can interrupt the success of a child in terms of their educational performance. The liaisons work to communicate the root of such issues to the child’s school system and family with the goal of alleviating possible negative effects. Expanding the Educational Liaison Program and allowing more liaisons to engage with children in the child welfare system only increased its overall success.

Booth is confident the grant will directly lead to the continued success of the program. “The more liaisons we are able to send out into the community to advocate for these children, the larger the impact will be,” Booth says.

With the help of the 2019 Crime Prevention Grant, further program growth and development will continue for the foreseeable future.