Grant Year: 2023 | Focus Area: Health and Wellness| Amount: $108,364| Grant Status: In progress
The Santa Rosa Kids' House (SRKH) is a Child Advocacy Center established in June 2008 to support abused and neglected children in Santa Rosa County. SRKH's core mission is to provide a well-coordinated multi-disciplined response to child abuse in an environment that puts the needs of the child first. Functioning as a child-friendly facility, SRKH provides safety, security, and a wide array of victim services to children and families who have experienced violence and abuse. The organization's origins date back to 2003 when child advocates and a Multidisciplinary Team in Santa Rosa County came together to enhance the collective response to child abuse. In 2004, Santa Rosa Kids' House was incorporated as a nonprofit entity with 501(c)3 status. The organization's role involves investigating abuse, holding offenders accountable, and most crucially, aiding children in healing from abuse trauma. Beyond investigative services, SRKH offers essential items like food, clothing, and diapers to families in crisis, allowing them to focus on recovery. SRKH also extends its services through Child Safety Matters curriculum presentations in local elementary schools, and they educate students on self-awareness, abuse recognition, bullying, reporting, and cyber safety.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT
Recognizing the existing trauma experienced by clients upon arrival, SRKH strives to minimize further distress by creating a secure and welcoming reception space that prioritizes the child's welfare. SRKH seeks to enhance access and confidentiality for abused/neglected children and families by upgrading the reception and lobby areas. IMPACT 100 grant funds will be used to renovate the reception and lobby areas to include the addition of a confidential intake area adjacent to the lobby. This project will create areas for toddlers and teenagers and provide calming semi-private spaces for children and families while they await services. The primary goal is to provide a serene environment where children and families can find solace while they wait. Moreover, the project seeks to ensure that clients can be kept apart from unrelated individuals, such as defense attorneys, to prevent any unwarranted interactions. The renovations support the SRKH mission of providing an environment that puts the needs of the child first, while following state-mandated procedures to ensure successful prosecution of offenders.
EXPECTED IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
Studies show that one in three children who have been sexually abused grow up to commit the same acts on other children, and one in three go on to commit crimes and abuse substances. By helping the children and families heal, Santa Rosa Kids’ House helps reduce these risks. SRKH serves children aged 0-18 years in Santa Rosa County yet faces challenges with the current reception and lobby areas. By upgrading the reception area/lobby, SRKH will improve the experience for children of all ages and genders, including children with disabilities and sensory issues, in every traumatic situation. Providing a calming area with gentle and inviting items and technology will enable children who have experienced traumatic situations to feel more relaxed, allowing the caregivers to feel relaxed as well. New confidential areas will allow SRKH to follow state-mandated procedures to ensure successful prosecution of offenders. The entire experience will be less traumatic and encourage children to return to the center. The organization anticipates a 50% increase in satisfaction on the entire process including environment, confidentiality, age appropriateness, and overall experience, from children and caregivers. Investment in these environmental improvements is an investment in better outcomes for these children.