The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) is an independent non-profit organization in the state government that provides funding to prevent child abuse and neglect. The program receives funding through charitable donations and grants, which it then feeds in to local programs and services to promote the health, safety and welfare for Michigan’s children and families. It is the only independent, statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse in Michigan.The program was created in 1982 through a public act by the Michigan State Legislature and has since raised over $80 million for prevention programs and services statewide. It funds 72 child abuse and neglect prevention councils in all 83 counties in Michigan. It also provides training, technical assistance and support to the statewide prevention network. .
The Children’s Trust Fund is Michigan’s branch of Prevent Child Abuse America, whose sole mission is “to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.” Prevent Child Abuse America focuses on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention of child abuse and neglect. CTF is housed in the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). The DHS directs the operations of public assistance and service programs around the state.
In the 2009/2010 fiscal year, CTF provided over $3.647 million in local grants to the statewide Local Child Abuse and Neglect Council Network and through competitive Direct Services Grants for child abuse and neglect prevention efforts. It also served as the lead agency for several organizations, conducted extensive fund development efforts and administered on several prevention panels across the state.
CTF is the lead agency for the Circle of Parents (COP) initiative in Michigan. CTF provides training and support for communities interested in establishing parent directed support groups, offered at no cost to the participants.
CTF provides direct service programs to parents and guardians, which are initiatives to support at risk families. The initiatives employed to address the local needs include respite care, parent education programs and support groups, fatherhood programs, home visitation programs, family resource and support centers and positive youth development.
The Local Councils of the CTF facilitate community prevention programs within a specific geographical location. Each Council focuses on building awareness, and educating and providing support to the general community. Priorities of the council include encouraging the implementation of evidence-informed/based programming and promoting inter-Local Council teamwork.
CTF raises funds through private efforts such as individual and corporate donations, tax check-off donations, license plate purchases and charitable fundraising, as well as federal funding. The tax check-off on the state income tax form is a major fundraiser for CTF, generating $517,175 in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The specialty license plate sales, in which the CTF’s name and logo are displayed on the plate, are also a major fundraiser.
One of CTF’s largest campaigns is Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAP Month) in April of each year. CTF works closely with Local Council sub-groups to coordinate efforts, such as planting pinwheel gardens (the symbol of CAP Month) across the state on April 1, and hosting a Prevention Awareness Day at the Capitol each year.
CTF also holds a Signature Auction each year, drawing state policymakers and lobbyists, as well as local community residents and leaders. The event is recognized as one of the largest charitable events in greater Lansing, and has provided much visibility for CTF.