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Advocating for Child Safety with Childhelp

PUBLISHED

Feb 16, 2022

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Childhelp’s story begins back in the 1950’s with Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson. Both Hollywood actresses were picked for a government-sponsored goodwill tour. Their philanthropic pursuits sparked when they were on tour in Tokyo after a large storm hit. In addition to mass structural damage to the city, they witnessed an alarming number of abandoned children roaming the streets. 

In an effort to do something, Sara and Yvonne took in 11 helpless children.

Unfortunately, it was not feasible to keep these children in their hotel room and it turned out a lot of them were ½ American, ½ Japanese, fathered by American soldiers. After tirelessly searching for an orphanage to accommodate the children and with no luck, the 2 women realized they would need to find a solution on their own.  

Sara and Yvonne began to fundraise for their new organization, International Orphans. This round of fundraising helped open International Orphans first orphanage in Tokyo. After returning to California, the women’s efforts eventually caught the attention of Congress and a Marine Corps Lieutenant. By 1973, they had helped open countless orphanages across Japan and Vietnam! 

In 1975, a new study was published outlining child abuse as an epidemic in the United States. Sara and Yvonne were already so passionate about rescuing children from harm’s way that this new study only motivated them further. Only a year later they launched a child abuse campaign called Children’s Village USA, which led them to opening their first treatment center for abused children in 1978.  

Momentum picked up quickly from there and brought immense exposure to the cause. Jimmy Carter felt so moved by the ladies’ efforts that in 1979 he designated April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In 1982, Children’s Village USA helped launch the first child abuse hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD). 

In 1983, Children’s Village USA was officially changed to Childhelp and they established the International Alliance on Child Abuse and Neglect. Their success in the following years continued to prove just as impressive. Today, 63 years later, Childhelp remains as vigilant as ever with their mission.  

Mission 

“Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on advocacy, intervention, treatment, prevention, family resilience and community outreach.”  

Child Abuse: Any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. – CDC  

There are many different types of child abuse. To learn more, visit the Childhelp website. 

What is Childhelp doing to make a difference? 

Childhelp has chapters and auxiliaries across the United States helping to make an even greater impact. Through these channels Childhelp can implement, run, and fund a multitude of resources, centers, and programs. 

National Child Abuse Hotline 

The implementation of the National Child Abuse Hotline, in 1982, was driven by none other than Childhelp itself. Still in full operation today, the hotline is available 24/7 by call or text at 1-800-422-4453. If you or someone you know needs support concerning child abuse, this is a safe and secure hotline where you can file a report, ask questions, or receive additional support. 

Though the hotline is a helpful tool, if you believe a child is in imminent danger contact 911 immediately for quicker aid! 

Speak Up, Be Safe  

The Childhelp Speak Up, Be Safe evidence-based curriculum program has been utilized in schools across the US and other nations since 2010. The purpose of this program is to teach children grades K-12 everything they need to know about child abuse in an age-appropriate way.  

Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs 

Formally known by the term Group Homes, Childhelp has arranged residential programs to help provide safe and stable recovery environments for children in California’s child welfare system. Children who take part in the Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs are provided with resources like therapy and counseling.  

Foster Care and Adoption Services 

The Childhelp Foster Care & Adoption Services provide short and long-term therapeutic foster care to abused and neglected children. [They] work to match children in need with warm, loving families who can provide a caring and safe environment. [They] are licensed to recruit, screen, train, and certify foster care parents.” 

The best part about Childhelp’s foster care and adoption services is that their involvement does not end when a child is placed with a family. Childhelp continues to provide ongoing support, resources, and guidance to ensure a positive placement for both the child and parent.  

Advocacy centers 

The advocacy centers act as a child-friendly, one-stop option for child abuse response. Childhelp’s two current advocacy centers help facilitate victim interviews, medical exams, and treatment as well as ongoing support after an abuse incident has occurred. Multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) including members in law enforcement, child protective services, legal professionals, and medical personnel all help run the centers and take children through the necessary processes.    

Residential Villages and Schools 

Much like the advocacy centers, The Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp and the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village provide safe, residential treatment options for children recovering from child abuse.  

Why Q5id Guardian partnered with Childhelp 

Q5id Guardian is dedicated to child safety and to ensure that our mission is achieved we strive to partner with organizations and individuals who have the same goal in mind. That is why partnering with Childhelp was an absolute must! Together we can advocate for child safety by spreading awareness and educating as many people as possible about child abuse. The more people who are informed, the more children we can keep safe.  

To start our partnership off strongly Q5id Guardian is a proud sponsor of Childhelp’s 18th Annual Drive the Dream Gala. Proceeds from this fantastic event help provide necessary services and support programs for abused and neglected children. We could not be happier to support such a worthy cause and organization.