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11/23/2020

Los Angeles Business Journal | Community is the Only Hope for Children Who Are Suffering

Child abuse is a very real issue that’s happening in our community right now.  Nearly 100 times a day, a child in California is placed in foster care due to abuse or neglect.  Over 33,000 of these children live in Los Angeles and Orange Counties alone. These numbers are pre-COVID.  We know that the impact of the pandemic has put already fragile children at further risk.

As if that message alone is not powerful enough, there are broader economic consequences for our cities and states. Childhood trauma results in $2 – 5 billion in public funds spent annually to treat the downstream effects that span our criminal justice system, education, healthcare and employment.  For too long, child abuse and its effects have severely handicapped generations of at-risk children, their families and the communities in which they live.  Child abuse and its root causes is amongst the biggest social justice issues of our time.  But there is hope – that hope is Children’s Bureau.

Children’s Bureau’s addresses these issues through its vision of building strong families and communities and its mission to protect vulnerable children through prevention, treatment and advocacy. Founded in 1904, the agency serves 48,000 children and their parents annually.  Children’s Bureau supports children who have already been harmed, through its mental health services, foster care and adoption programs.  However, the greatest return on investment comes from its primary prevention efforts, which are programs focused on communities and families with young children.

When I moved to Southern California getting connected wasn’t easy despite having the means to do so – including language, education and a supportive employer. It was a very humbling experience and one that fueled my desire to help fragile children and their parents.  The pandemic has brought enormous challenges to these families and the nonprofits, like Children’s Bureau, that serve them.

Pivoting from a flagship in-person event to producing a digital experience with similar impact has been challenging but we knew that another live Zoom event wasn’t how to make that impact.  The Heroes of Hope Campaign offers a way to get the know this dynamic agency first-hand through its heroic people on the front line and the hopeful families served.

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