VNB Community Counts--March 27th

Children, Youth & Family Services

CYFS has been serving our area’s children for 88 years. During the past year alone, our programs reached over 3,500 children in low-income or at-risk families. The theme shared by all of our programs is that they are all about kids – about reaching children wherever they are – at home, in child care, in school, or on the streets – and increasing their chance for a successful future.

The need is evident and urgent:
• 49% of Charlottesville’s children are eligible for free and reduced price school lunches – a reliable indicator of family income;
• 21% of area children live in poverty;
• the teen pregnancy rate in Charlottesville is three times the state teen pregnancy rate;
• only 40% of Charlottesville children live with both parents;
• 49.5 reports of abuse are made for every 1,000 children – and the number is growing;
• 26% of city kindergarteners are found to lack basic kindergarten readiness skills – a deficit that research shows will follow them throughout their school years.
• 64% of the Charlottesville families with children have all adults working outside the home. The rate in Albemarle County is 60.4%.

But we are making a difference:
• Home Visiting: Professional home visitors work with parents of at-risk babies and young children to help them create a healthy, nurturing environment. In 2007-2008, Home Visitors have made 944 home visits with 88 families and 98 children.
• Early Learning: STAR Kids and Play Partners send staff and volunteers to teach low-income preschoolers pre-reading and social skills. This year, they served over 400 children.
• Child Care Quality: Staff provides advice and help for parents seeking quality child care in the Charlottesville area, and training and support to child care providers to improve the quality of care they give. Last year 788 people were served by this program.
• Victims of Child Abuse (VOCA): VOCA provides free professional counseling to children and adolescents who are victims of child abuse or neglect, as well as to non-abusing family members, to heal the trauma of the abuse and create safe and nurturing home environments. This year over 150 children and family members received VOCA counseling.
• Teen Services: Our Runaway Emergency Services Program (RESP) provides a 24-hour hotline for kids in crisis and free emergency shelter in volunteer homes for kids who have run away or are homeless. Last year, 202 teens called our hotline, 33 received counseling, and 16 were given emergency shelter.
• Parent Education: Family Connections and the ParentingMobile offer parenting classes, specialized workshops and home consultations to families of young children, families of teenagers, and families torn by divorce or violence. Over 1100 parents and children were served this year. Our Real Dads program encourages at-risk fathers to be positively involved in the lives of their children. This past year we reached over 115 new clients with the Real Dads program.

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