Get to Know a TACFS Partner: St. David's Foundation
Meet TACFS friend and partner, Kim McPherson from St. David’s Foundation. As St. David's Senior Program Officer, Kim develops strategies for programs and grant making in the areas of Childhood Adversity and Housing Wrap Around Services.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Kim held positions in the mental health and health policy fields at Health Management Associates, a national consulting firm; the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which administers Texas’ Medicaid and CHIP services; Mental Health America, a state-wide advocacy organization; and Mental Health Network, a managed care organization.
Our team at TACFS is incredibly thankful for Kim, and the work happening and supported by St. David’s Foundation to breakdown silos across health and human services systems in order to more effectively support children, youth, and families. Our partnership with St. David’s has centered on the efforts to infuse public health best practices and knowledge into the child welfare system, ensuring we can appropriately and efficiently meet families where they’re at, and provide appropriate child maltreatment prevention services in communities across Texas.
In response to the pandemic, St. David’s Foundation has launched a $10 million dollar COVID-19 Recovery Fund to support Central Texas nonprofits. This emergency fund will grant support for both immediate and intermediate needs of nonprofits working on the front lines to provide emergency assistance to Central Texas’ most vulnerable communities.
During the coronavirus pandemic, child abuse prevention is at the forefront of all community initiatives. As detailed by Kim, “we know in periods of high stress, the normal reporting systems, schools, churches, neighbors.. are going to be really compromised. The work that we do on prevention is hypercritical, because now is when it comes into play.”
Texas Department of Family Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention Program has released Coronavirus Resources for PEI Stakeholders and Providers to support community organizations as they continue to provide quality services for children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“During these times we need to remember the importance of prevention; when done well it's invisible and subject to being misunderstood as not critical, but it is.....When I think about child maltreatment and what tools we have to prevent it, I try to remember that supportive relationships can act as the inoculation against the bad stuff that can happen when stress gets overwhelming.. Our challenge is thinking out how we create the structures and norms to promote these supportive relationships to help families withstand the stressors that will undoubtably come their way…”
Our Center for Child and Family Studies has also released resources to support child welfare professionals, families and caregivers as we work together to shape new norms to prevent child abuse during this challenging time. Visit our Child Abuse Prevention Month web page to learn more about our thoughts on Working Together to Support Children and Families, Mental Health Services for Texas Families, Making the Virtual Shift, Six Tips to Prevent Child Abuse During COVID-19 and more.