Established in 1981, KIDSAFE CT (KIDSAFE) based in Vernon, Conn., is a private nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. KIDSAFE’s mission is to develop and provide programs that address the early intervention, prevention and the treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The organization is governed by a dedicated and diverse group of 12 board members and has an operating budget of just under $900,000. Fourteen full- and seven part-time employees provide a variety of services to almost 800 families annually. KIDSAFE is among the ten largest Exchange Club child abuse prevention centers in the country and one of the oldest. Current services include Family Enrichment Services, Mentoring, Counseling, Vernon Juvenile Review Board (JRB), Community Support for Families (CSF), Youth drop in center and outreach programs, Supervised visitation, Parenting education, Vernon Community Plan.
The current executive director, Angela Atwater, is retiring after more than 15 years of service. Under her leadership, KIDSAFE has become a highly regarded children and family services nonprofit that is known for quality programs and acclaimed for its willingness to collaborate with other organizations for the benefit of clients and the greater community good. At the same time, as is true for many nonprofits, KIDSAFE has struggled to maintain adequate funding levels to support programs. Its major funder, DCF, cut funding several years ago after the economic downturn, causing KIDSAFE to downsize. Since then, KIDSAFE has rebounded remarkably, initiating new services and leading a successful effort to fund implementation of the Vernon Community Plan.
After completing an organizational assessment, KIDSAFE leaders anticipate organizational priorities for the new executive director will include:
• Strategic planning and visioning
• Operational planning
• Diversified fundraising
• Strategic leadership and governance
• Staff leadership
• Ensuring that KIDSAFE continues to be an effective and highly regarded community collaborator and partner.