Protecting Our Children During a Time of Uncertainty
Gulf Coast Kid's House, Inc.
The mission of Gulf Coast Kid’s House (GCKH) is to end child abuse and heal families through collaborative intervention, family support and prevention education. GCKH is the only child advocacy center and child abuse prevention center in Escambia County. Timely, effective assistance designed to address the specific trauma each child has experienced is provided. They provide a place where child protective services, law enforcement, prosecution, medical, and mental health professionals work together under one roof to provide comprehensive services to child victims of abuse. Through this coordinated effort, children and families experience reduced trauma and better case coordination, leading to better outcomes for children and families. GCKH sees the most egregious physical abuse cases, sexual abuse cases and medical neglect cases in Escambia County. GCKH also provides several prevention educational programs for children and adults to help raise awareness of and prevent child abuse. Since opening in 2004, GCKH has provided services to over 20,000 children and has witnessed the rate of prosecution for these crimes against children go from below 20% to above 90%.
The IMPACT 100 grant will fund the production of a virtual GCKH child abuse prevention program for grades K-12 and upgrade Safe Kid Zone, GCKH’s successful online adult child abuse prevention training. Specifically,
production, creative, filming, equipment, crew, editing, and deliverables including filmed versions of 13 curricula (one for each grade, K-12) and one, five-minute trafficking video to be added to GCKH’s Safe Kid Zone adult training, which was completed by nearly 3,000 adults in 2019, will be funded. Last year, GCKH was asked to provide state mandated child abuse and child trafficking training for all Escambia County students grades K-12. 30,000 children participated in this training prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. COVID-19 has presented challenges for area schools and children, but it has also given GCKH the opportunity to invest in an alternate/additional training delivery method. Through video development of curricula, GCKH will ensure that children and adults still have access to life-saving child abuse prevention training regardless of what external threats such as pandemics, hurricanes, or staff shortages may pose for traditional learning. An online, video platform will allow for expanded access to life-saving trainings for all children and adults in Escambia County.
This project will reduce child abuse and get abused children the help they need. Children and adults will learn tactics to keep themselves and children in our community safe. Child abuse creates damaging long-term effects in physical health, mental health, and behavioral issues. Decreasing child abuse will also decrease the host of negative impacts it creates. Escambia County has the highest rate of abuse in the entire state of Florida. This project will impact all 40,000 K-12 students in the Escambia County School District. GCKH will have the flexibility to deliver age-appropriate prevention education in a virtual environment, enabling every child to be reached regardless of external threats. The demographics of the adults educated will be reflective of Escambia County with a larger emphasis on adults with or around small children aged infant to 6 years old. If funded, GCKH has a statewide partner who will collaborate to distribute the K-12 videos free of charge to every school district in the state of Florida. GCKH will measure the impact of this project through the number of children and adults educated using these videos. Each training program includes a test to measure knowledge gain.