The Children’s Trust Fund board of directors has approved and awarded 70 grants and more than $1.6 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2012 to 65 community-based organizations throughout Missouri for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, including Chillicothe’s PATCH program in the amount of $36,954.

The mission of PATCH (Parents and Their Children) is to provide children and their mothers, incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Center, with services necessary to maintain contact and strengthen family relationships during periods of separation due to incarceration.

PATCH provides parent education classes to increase understanding and improve the parenting skills of offender mothers, supervised visits in PATCH visiting rooms reserved for one mother and her children, transportation for children who need rides to visit their mothers in prison, ongoing support and encouragement to help mothers improve interactions with their children.

PATCH is funded from the donations of individuals, churches, organizations, foundations and the Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri, Missouri’s Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention.

The funded prevention grants focus on home visitation and parent education, including safe crib and safe sleep education, and mentoring programs that help pregnant and parenting teens. Others programs focus on parenting classes, support children whose parents are incarcerated, grandparent support, fatherhood initiatives, the Strengthening Families framework, crisis nurseries, early childhood education, professional development training, bullying and sexual abuse prevention. CTF also invests in programs that support families of medically fragile babies and other special needs children who are at-risk of abuse.

In addition, CTF supports 41 community-based organizations that market the CTF ‘prevent child abuse’ license plate. These grantees specifically promote and sell the license plate to increase prevention awareness and raise funds that are returned directly back into the community to provide prevention programs that help children and families. Nearly $200,000 in additional prevention funds were distributed to license plate partners in Fiscal Year 2011 with over $150,000 projected to be distributed this year.

As Missouri’s Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention, CTF has awarded over $45 million in prevention funds since its inception in 1983. Funding is obtained from dedicated fees on marriage licenses and vital records, volunteer contributions designated on Missouri State Income Tax Returns, sales of the specialty CTF license plate, general donations, interest income from the Fund, and other grants.