Recent Grants Received to Aid Families with Children who are Most Impacted by Trauma

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book has just been updated. The disheartening news is that according to the latest data, New Mexico has dropped, again, to the very bottom of the list, 50th across the nation for wellbeing of its children in the State. Las Cumbres, with its vital collabortion with select funders, continues to expand its services to families with children to meet the unsettling factors head-on that impact our community children and their families. We are pleased to announce the award of three supportive grants from the following private and city funders.

CIty of Santa Fe Children and Youth Commission award of $69,000 a year for two years will assist with maintaining treatment for a selection of Santa Fe's most trauma-impacted children and their families through the agency's Santa Fe Community Infant Program (CIP). Addressing multi-generational cycles of interpersonal and community violence, CIP staff will be in an even stronger position to aid parents and other caregivers to restore their role in their children's lives as "Protective Shields", with intensive intervention, concrete assistance, and parenting skills. To find out more about the Santa Fe-based infant and early childhood programs through CIP, click here.

United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) has bequeathed Las Cumbres $50,000 toward continuation of the agency's HEART Project. HEART, which stands for Healing Early Adversity through Resilience and Treatment, is now entering its third year. The project aims to nurture a behavioral health system that integrates and leverages agency expertise in trauma-informed and trauma-focused infant and early childhood mental health and education with intervention, assessment, and treatment; parenting supports; family navigation; and collective impact. With this year's HEART Project expansion, behavioral health supports will broaden to include the agency's therapeutic Pre-K preschool, Conjunto, in Espanola. This will further assist three- and four-year-olds as the ready and transition into kindergarten and public school. This UWNNM grant will assist families enrioled in Las Cumbres across Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. For more about Conjunto, click here.

A Santa Fe Community Foundation Spring 2018 Community Grant will similarly bolster therapeutic interventions for preschoolers enrolled in Conjunto. With introduction of an assessment tool reviewing "adverse childhood experiences" (known as ACEs) administered for both the child and their caregivers, preschool staff and behavioral health team members will better understand the range of factors that affect a child as he or she grows, tracking their progress on into kindergarten. One in ten children nationally has experienced three or more ACEs, placing them in a category of especially high risk. In five states - including Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, and Ohio - as many as one in seven children has experienced three or more ACEs. ACEs are traumatic experiences that can have negative, long lasting effects on health and wellbeing in children and later in life. The Santa Fe Community Foundation grant award, in the amount of $50,000, will benefit children in Conjunto who arrive from Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe counties.

From a recent story in Searchlight New Mexico, James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, is quoted "We can continue to dis-invest in our children or we can insist upon a new direction, one in which we make a deep commitment to improving conditions for all New Mexicans."

Learn more about specific demographics for New Mexico's children, by visiting Annie E. Casey's KIDS COUNT Data Book, by following this link.United Way of NNM logo

SFCF reversed logo 2018
CIty of SF logo 2018     

New Healing Hearts Mothers Group Starting June 18 in Santa Fe Office

Come connect with other moms for this educational and arts-driven mothers group, to be held in the agency's Santa Fe offices, beginning in mid-June. Classes will be held on Mondays from 10am until noon for 8 weeks. Contact Shannan or Kim about enrollment.

Explore the challenges of motherhood and the importance of self-care with other mothers with young children. Childcare and snacks provided!

Review the flyer below for more information including contact telephone numbers. Healing Hearts Flyer Session 5 June 2018

Potentially Troubling Program Changes in Congress that Could Harm Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

(This story now appears on the Grandparents pages of our website, but it's worth sharing here as well. For more about the agency's Grandparents programs available in Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, and Taos counties, visit here)

There is some troubling news circulating about legislation before Congress that could impact Grandparents Raising Grandchildren:

We've just received additional information that the US House of Representatives is hearing the "Farm Bill" this week, of which the SNAP benefits conversation is part, and voting on this bill is likely to take place this week as well (the week of May 7, 2018). 

Two crucial programs for grandfamilies - SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Program (formerly known as food stamps) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) - are being considered for major changes. These changes would severly impact the ability of grandfamilies to qualify for these much-needed programs.

Stories from families that have benefited from these programs are being solicited to show the value of preserving them. If you or a family you know or work with has benefited from SNAP and/or TANF, please contact Adam Ott () so an interveiw can be set up with you or to write up your story to share with members of Congress. Additionally, if you or a family you know have tried to apply for SNAP or TANF but encountered a barrier, those stories are being sought a well.

Here is a little more about the the harmful changes to SNAP that Congress is considering:

  • Requiring the state to pursue child support from parents when the grandfamily caregiver of the parent's child applies for SNAP. This can endanger children in grandfamilies when it results in parents threatening relatives or try to take the children. In addition, relatives are often conflicted about adding the burden of child support to the children's parents who may already be struggling to improve their lives.
  • Requiring careivers under age 60 to work a minimum number of hours per week. This can prove difficult for caregivers who have to reduce their hours or are unable to work in order to better care for children.
  • Reducing the income elegibility. To qualify to receive any nutrition assistance under the propsoed changes, a caregiver under 60 raising one child would have to make less than $21,500 per year  

There are also a series of damaging changes expected to be proposed for the TANF program. We will update you when more information is available. 

Your voices matter! Please contact Adam Ott at the email address/link above so that stores can be collected and shared. Thank you!

 

Agency's Conjunto Therapeutic Pre-K Preschool in the News

 KUNM Conjunto story picture Jan 2018

A Public Health New Mexico article, highlighted recently on KUNM, looks closely at the very specific services available through Las Cumbres' Conjunto Therapeutic Preschool in Española, serving three- and four-year-olds whose families may be experiencing drug-related trauma.

In the story, Nora Volkow, who directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that we now know that traumatic childhood events like losing a parent to the criminal justice system, abuse or neglect causes physiological changes in the brain and that those changes can have serious consequences later in life if they’re not dealt with early. But if children learn to function well in groups, express their emotions in healthy ways, and control their impulses in their early years, research shows they’ll be more likely to succeed in school, and their chance of falling into addiction later in life can fall drastically.

That’s why there is a push for more support of programs like Conjunto—which Volkow said is even more important in communities with longstanding addiction issues like Española.

To read the full article, click here. To access KUNM's Public Health New Mexico website, clink on this link.

And to learn more about Conjunto Therapeutic Pre-K Preschool, visit this page.

Finally, consider making a much needed donation today for use by the preschool, always seeking funds for healthy snacks, art supplies, and creative activities and outings. Contact the agency Director of Development and Communications to find out how you can help by emailing . Or by telephone: 505.819.5117.

 

 

Free Baby Boxes Available in Santa Fe and Espanola Las Cumbres Offices

Assembled Baby Box

The Santa Fe and Espanola offices of Las Cumbres are now distributing Baby Boxes! Originally developed in Finland in the 1930s, in a country that boasts one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates, Baby Boxes have since gained popularity in the United States. Las Cumbres Community Services' Confident Parenting Home Visiting Program staff offers Baby Boxes to all families who are expecting a new baby or have a child under 3 months. This FREE Baby Box includes a firm mattress and sheet, along with useful baby supplies to help the baby get off to a healthy start. Along with receipt of Baby Box, families will receive free education surrounding safe sleep.

Dr. Kathryn McCans, chair of New Jersey’s Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, explains the goal of the program is preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). “Through education and awareness, people can make better choices and hopefully we can see fewer children dying.” Although the rate of SIDS deaths in the U.S. has declined drastically since 1994 when the Back to Sleep campaign spread the word about putting infants to sleep on their backs, it’s gone up in recent years.

The hope is that the number of kids dying from SIDS will decrease in the states that make baby boxes free and available. In most cases, the boxes can accommodate a baby up to six months old and the SIDS rate is highest between months two and four.

Contact the agency’s Santa Fe office to learn how you can receive a free Baby Box. Telephone: 505.955.0410 in Santa Fe or 505.753.4123, Española.

Española

Administrative Office

102 N. Coronado
Espanola, NM 87532
phone 505.629.1813
fax 505.747.0421

Española Early Childhood Center

404 Hunter Street
Española, NM 87532
phone: 505.753.4123
fax: 505.753.6947

Adult Services

104 N. Coronado
Española, NM 87532
phone: 505.747.4715
fax: 505.747.4524

TTY/TDD/Audio Relay 711 National Voice Relay available:
Dial 711 to be automatically connected to a Telecommunications Relay Service operator who can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe Early Childhood Center

(including Family Infant Toddler/Early Intervention)

1911 Fifth St., Suite 100
Santa Fe, NM 87505
phone: 505.955.0410
fax: 505.955.8577

Los Alamos
(Adult Home)

2056 Peach Street
Los Alamos, NM 87544
phone: 505.662.4703 [Women’s Apartment]
phone: 505.662.7653 [Men’s Apartment]

Chama Office

493 Terrace Ave., Suite 1
Chama, NM 87520
phone: 575.795.4681 or 575.209.0347

Taos Office

1332 Gusdorf Rd., #A
Taos, NM 87571
phone 575.224.3197
fax: 575.224.3198

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