In continuing our series profiling the work of the HFC branches and their grants committees across the United States, the following installment looks at the focused approach of HFC Denver.  Made possible by hedge fund and financial sector donors, HFC grants play a vital role in furthering our  mission of preventing and treating child abuse.  We invite you to partner with us on this important work.

Help For Children Denver: April 21, 2016:  Since its founding in 2005, HFC Denver has made 40 grants totaling $764,000.  In recent years, these grants have focused on supporting educational programs that decrease the risk of abuse.  Children learn about what abuse is and how to avoid it; adults gain information on recognizing the signs of abuse in children.

In 2015, HFC Denver supported three school-based prevention programs for children, reaching over 8,000 children.  These grants specifically supported the work of prevention specialists who teach school children about basic body safety, rights, and strategies to stop child abuse. 

All three programs use dialogue between puppet figures or role play by adult presenters, to keep the children engaged and illustrate protective strategies. The basic message is: “No, Go, Tell.”  Students learn they have the right to say no, to leave a situation where someone is trying to coerce them, and to tell a trusted adult what is happening.  The programs also provide time for individual meetings after the group presentations, and as a result, through student disclosures, 36 reports were made to child protective services.

In 2015, Colorado became the 20th state to enact Erin’s Law legislation, a statute that encourages school districts to include this kind of child abuse prevention program in all schools. The state did not, however, have the funds to help schools implement these programs.  As a result, HFC funding plays a highly crucial role in ensuring that these prevention programs continue.

HFC Denver Grants Decrease Risk of Child Abuse

 The following story, received from one of the Denver grantees, highlights both the need and the importance of these educational programs:


“After each of the series of four student presentations, a trained staff member is always available in the hallway outside the classroom for any child wanting to ask questions or share thoughts in private. Kids share many secrets – climbing on the fridge to get cookies, eating candy behind their parent’s back, being mean to younger kids at the playground, and other innocuous confessions that they feel guilty about and want to disclose.  However, during one of these recent hallway consultations, a brave little girl told the secret of how her twin was being sexually molested. The following week, her twin made the courageous decision to tell the Center’s staff about the assault. As a result of the School-Based Prevention Education Program, these little girls knew they had done nothing wrong and their secret was one they needed to share; because of this program, these third-grade girls are putting an end to their nightmare, are beginning their healing journey, and can look forward to a childhood free of fear and abuse. As a result of the generous support from HFC, our prevention education is making a difference and together we are creating a safer world for our children.”



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