🕊 Towards a More Trauma-Informed Church: Partnering for Healing 🕊

Dear Church Leaders,

At Care in Action Minnesota, we believe that every faith community has the potential to be a powerful force for healing and support.

Trauma is not a new concept to the Christian faith; it’s deeply embedded in the Bible’s narratives of suffering and resilience. From child abuse and persecution to spiritual trauma and more, the pages of Scripture bear witness to the realities of trauma and the enduring need for healing.

We invite you to join us for an insightful and interactive luncheon discussion and presentation led by the founder and current Board President of Care in Action Minnesota, Peter Singer, MSW, LICSW. Peter Singer, a dedicated expert in trauma-informed practice, will delve into the crucial subject of trauma within the context of faith communities.

Discussion Highlights

  • The biblical narrative: A journey through Scripture to understand the centrality of trauma.
  • Trauma and faith: Exploring the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual impacts of trauma, especially in cases of abuse and misuse of power within the Church.
  • The Church’s responsibility: Reflecting on how the Church has responded to survivors of abuse and the concept of retraumatization.
  • Trauma basics: A comprehensive look at trauma, prevalence, and the essential principles that guide trauma-informed practice.
  • SAMHSA’s Six Key Principles: Discover the core principles behind trauma-informed practice and their applicability in the Church.
  • The role of faith communities: How we can create safe, healing environments, support survivors, and prevent retraumatization.

We are committed to fostering safer and more compassionate communities. Pete Singer’s expertise and our partnership with faith leaders like you can help make this a reality. We encourage you to be part of this transformative discussion, as we believe that together, we can shape a more trauma-informed, caring, and supportive Church.

Why Attend

  • Gain insights into trauma within faith communities.
  • Understand the principles of trauma-informed practice.
  • Explore how Care in Action Minnesota and your faith community can collaborate to create safer, more supportive environments.
  • Network and exchange ideas with fellow church leaders.

We look forward to having you join us in this important conversation. Together, we can move toward a more trauma-informed Church and fulfill our calling to support and heal those who have been affected by trauma.

RSVP

https://bit.ly/TraumaInformedChurch

Let’s be the change we wish to see in our communities. Together, we can make a significant impact on the lives of survivors and create a more supportive, healing environment for all.

Blessings,
Katherine A. Sims-Delgado
Executive Director
Care in Action Minnesota

Preventing Family Separation: The Role of Basic Needs Assistance

Family separation is a deeply distressing experience for both parents and children, and it often arises from a multitude of complex factors. One significant contributing factor is the inability of families to meet their basic needs. When parents struggle to provide a stable and nurturing environment due to poverty, homelessness, or lack of access to essential resources, the risk of family separation increases. In this blog, we will explore the crucial role of basic needs assistance in preventing family separation. By addressing these needs proactively and comprehensively, we can help families stay together and create a nurturing environment for their children’s well-being.

Providing Stable Housing

Safe and stable housing is a fundamental requirement for family unity. By ensuring that families have access to affordable housing, we can significantly reduce the risk of separation. At Care in Action MN we help cover rental assistance, housing subsidies, or other supportive housing resources that can help families overcome housing challenges and create a stable living environment. When parents have a secure place to call home, children benefit from the stability and continuity, reducing the likelihood of family separation.

Addressing Economic Hardships

Financial struggles can place immense strain on families, making it difficult to provide for their children’s basic needs. Basic needs assistance programs that offer financial support, job training, and access to employment opportunities can alleviate economic hardships and empower parents to provide for their families. By addressing financial instability, we create conditions that reduce the risk of family separation and foster family unity.

Healthcare Access

Healthcare plays a crucial role in family stability and well-being. Basic needs assistance programs that provide healthcare coverage, medical services, and mental health support can help families address health concerns and prevent the need for family separation. By ensuring that children and parents have access to healthcare, we promote family unity and create conditions that support their overall physical and emotional well-being.

Supporting Parenting and Family Preservation

Parenting support programs offered through basic needs assistance play a vital role in preventing family separation. These programs provide parents with education, counseling, and support services to enhance their parenting skills and strengthen family bonds. By addressing parenting challenges and providing the necessary resources, families are better equipped to create a nurturing environment, reducing the risk of child maltreatment and the need for out-of-home placement.

Conclusion

Preventing family separation is a multifaceted challenge that requires a comprehensive approach. By addressing the basic needs of families through housing support, economic assistance, food security, healthcare access, and parenting support, we can significantly reduce the risk of family separation. Basic needs assistance programs play a crucial role in creating an environment where families can thrive, providing the necessary support to maintain family unity and foster the well-being of parents and children alike. When we come together as a community to support vulnerable families, we demonstrate our commitment to family preservation and the belief that every child deserves the chance to grow up in a loving and nurturing home.

Faith in Action: How Churches Can Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect in Their Organization

Child abuse and neglect are deeply concerning issues that affect countless children worldwide. As trusted institutions within their communities, churches have a unique opportunity to play a pivotal role in preventing and addressing these harmful incidents. In this blog, we will explore the ways in which churches can take proactive measures to prevent child abuse and neglect within their organization. By fostering a culture of safety, implementing policies and procedures, and providing education and support, churches can create environments where children are protected, nurtured, and can thrive.

Cultivating a Culture of Safety:
Creating a culture of safety within a church organization is the first crucial step in preventing child abuse and neglect. It begins with promoting awareness among church staff, volunteers, and congregants about the importance of child protection. By openly discussing the issue and emphasizing the church’s commitment to the safety and well-being of children, a strong foundation is established for preventing abuse. This can include incorporating child protection messages in sermons, newsletters, and educational programs.

Implementing Clear Policies and Procedures:
Establishing clear and comprehensive child protection policies and procedures is essential for maintaining a safe environment. Churches should develop guidelines that outline expectations for appropriate behavior, including protocols for interacting with children and reporting suspicions or incidents of abuse. These policies should be regularly reviewed, communicated to all staff and volunteers, and consistently enforced. By having well-defined procedures in place, the church demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding children.

Screening and Training Church Staff and Volunteers:
Thoroughly screening and training church staff and volunteers is a critical step in preventing child abuse and neglect. Background checks, reference checks, and interviews should be conducted for all individuals working directly with children. Additionally, comprehensive training programs should be provided to educate staff and volunteers on recognizing signs of abuse, appropriate boundaries, and how to respond to disclosures. Equipping individuals with knowledge and skills empowers them to actively protect children and take appropriate action when necessary.

Providing Education for Families and Children:
Educating families and children about child abuse prevention is vital. Churches can organize workshops, seminars, or guest speakers to address topics such as recognizing abuse, promoting healthy relationships, and personal safety. By offering age-appropriate educational programs for children, the church empowers them to understand their rights, identify potential risks, and seek help if needed. Supporting parents in building open lines of communication with their children can further strengthen protective factors within families.

Establishing Reporting Channels:
Establishing clear reporting channels for suspected child abuse or neglect is essential. Churches should ensure that all staff, volunteers, and congregants are aware of the designated individuals to whom they should report concerns. It is crucial to create an environment where individuals feel safe and supported when coming forward with suspicions or disclosures. Churches should also familiarize themselves with local child protection laws and collaborate with relevant authorities to address and prevent abuse.

Conclusion:
As spiritual and community leaders, churches have a responsibility to protect the well-being of children within their organization. By actively working to prevent child abuse and neglect, churches can create safe and nurturing environments where children can grow, learn, and thrive. Through fostering a culture of safety, implementing policies and procedures, providing training and education, and establishing effective reporting channels, churches can play a vital role in safeguarding the most vulnerable members of their congregation. By putting faith into action, churches demonstrate their commitment to the protection and well-being of children, embodying the values of love, compassion, and justice.

Breaking the Cycle: How Providing Basic Needs Supports Family Preservation

Maintaining family unity and preserving the well-being of children is a shared goal across societies. However, many families face significant challenges in meeting their basic needs, which can put them at risk of family separation and disrupt the healthy development of children. By providing support for essential needs such as housing, food, healthcare, and economic stability, we can break the cycle of instability and create conditions for family preservation. In this blog, we will explore the critical role of providing basic needs assistance in supporting family preservation efforts and fostering a nurturing environment for children to thrive.

Ensuring Stable Housing:
Stable housing is a fundamental need for families to thrive and stay together. By providing housing assistance programs, such as rental subsidies or transitional housing, we can help families secure safe and stable living conditions. Stable housing reduces stress, improves parental mental health, and provides a nurturing environment for children. When families have a place to call home, they can focus on building healthy relationships, accessing community resources, and creating a stable foundation for their children’s growth.

Alleviating Economic Hardships:
Economic instability is a significant factor that can lead to family separation. By providing financial support we can help families overcome economic hardships and strengthen their ability to provide for their children’s needs. Assistance programs that address poverty and promote financial stability empower parents to secure stable employment, access education and training, and ultimately break free from the cycle of generational poverty. Economic support enables families to meet their basic needs and reduces the stressors that can strain relationships and increase the risk of family breakdown.

Facilitating Healthcare Access:
Access to healthcare is crucial for families to thrive and stay together. By providing healthcare coverage, medical services, and mental health support, we can address health disparities and promote family preservation. Comprehensive healthcare services ensure that children receive necessary medical care, vaccinations, and developmental screenings. Additionally, supporting parents’ physical and mental well-being enables them to better care for their children and seek help when needed. Accessible and affordable healthcare promotes family stability and prevents health-related crises that can lead to family separation.

Supporting Parents in their Role:
Financial stability enables parents to meet their children’s basic needs without constant worry or stress. This alleviates the burden of financial strain, allowing parents to focus on fostering positive relationships with their children, engaging in quality bonding time, and being present in their lives. It provides parents with the opportunity to invest in their own well-being and personal growth, which ultimately translates into improved parenting. By relieving financial pressure, economic support creates a space where families can thrive, build resilience, and develop strong bonds, resulting in healthier and happier households.

Conclusion:
Breaking the cycle of instability and supporting family preservation requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the basic needs of families. By ensuring stable housing, alleviating economic hardships, facilitating healthcare access, and supporting parents in their role, we create conditions that enable families to thrive and stay together. Supporting basic needs not only enhances family well-being but also strengthens communities as a whole. By providing these vital resources and services, we can break the cycle of instability, promote family preservation, and create a brighter future for children and families alike.

Announcing Our New Logo & Look!

Big News! After fifteen years, we’re releasing an updated brand identity. You’ll see the new look anywhere we’re out in public, our website, Facebook and Twitter

This redesign was made possible by the generous support of Constitution Lending. Constitution partnered with us to contribute their staff time to the full redesign and implementation of these changes.

As a small grassroots organization we try to ensure all available funding and resources go directly towards the children and families we serve. Without the generosity of Constitution Lending, modernizing our look to keep us appealing to new donors and ultimately enabling us to serve more children & families would have been left on the back burner for years.

We wanted a design that speaks for kids by harnessing the magic of colors and rooted in a message of hope and love. And we’re excited to introduce the results.

As this change happens, services will continue uninterrupted. Our developing organizational identity continues to be fueled by the tenacity of our supporters.

While we may have a new logo and look, Care in Action Minnesota remains committed to a vision of a world with no family violence, where all children, youth, and families can operate at their full potential and have the resources and skills they need to live with hope and dignity.

2020 Year in Review

Dear friends,

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since we started Care in Action Minnesota. A lot has changed in that time and yet much has remained the same. Our developing organizational identity continues to be fueled by the tenacity of our supporters. Without your dedicated support over the past year, our work would not be possible. In the middle of the pandemic, you stepped forward more than ever to touch lives and help people in need.

We are continually inspired by your commitment. Whether you are a donor, a volunteer, or a caring person concerned about the plight of children and families impacted by child maltreatment, we are very grateful for your generosity of time, funds, and spirit.

What Has Changed

We have experienced tremendous growth since Care in Action Minnesota’s early days, in geographic area served and the numbers of foster youth, children & families we have been able to support. You have helped us grow our impact, from what began with a small church in one county to now serving six counties across Minnesota with several local business partners, compassionate individuals, community, volunteer and faith-based groups investing in the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.

What Has Stayed the Same

Our commitment to offering programming impacting children who have experienced abuse or neglect, strengthen families, connect communities, and prevent childhood maltreatment. Our commitment to collaborating with county and community partners. Our role to partner with families to assess child safety and family needs, encourage families to develop their own solutions to their challenges, and identify supportive resources to help care for and protect their children.

The impact thus far has been tremendous. We have kept families together. We have made reunification possible. We have helped complete the final steps for adoption. We have helped families fleeing abuse. We have helped families secure permanent housing after years of experiencing chronic homelessness. We have helped children and families heal. We have raised awareness. We have prevented child abuse.

Unfortunately, families still need our help, and the systems designed to help them still struggle with disparities. We remain committed to addressing these disparities. And above all, we remain committed to our vision of a world with no family violence, where all children, youth, and families can operate at their full potential and have the resources and skills they need to live with hope and dignity.

Introducing Care in Action Minnesota’s New Executive Director

Dear Friends of Care in Action Minnesota,

I am excited and honoured to begin a new chapter with Care in Action Minnesota as I serve in the role of Executive Director. This is an incredible opportunity to continue working for a leading organization focused on fostering equity and creating a world with no family violence, where all children, youth, and families in our community can operate at their full potential and have the resources and skills they need to live with hope and dignity. As I look to the future of Care in Action Minnesota and how we can grow to meet the needs of our neighbors, I do so through this lens.

For those of you who I have not been able to meet yet, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I bring experience in fundraising, community relations, marketing, and program development to Care in Action Minnesota, as well as a deep understanding of the mission and vision of Care in Action Minnesota. As I step out of my role as the Program Coordinator and transition into the role of Executive Director, one of my main priorities is to continue fostering meaningful working relationships and collaborations that make our work possible.  Our community faces innumerable pressures and challenges, but I am optimistic that we will continue to make a positive and lasting impact through our collective work.  

Minnesota is my home and I am passionate about making a difference in my community. I am confident that there is no better way to achieve this than working through Care in Action Minnesota alongside our dedicated volunteers and supporters. I am eager to apply my many personal and professional experiences to guide Care in Action Minnesota into the next phase of its evolution. As we grow and acclimate to an ever-changing world, we will continue to strive towards organizational sustainability, adaptability, and perseverance.  

I would like to take this time to thank my predecessor and the founder of Care in Action Minnesota, Pete Singer. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know Pete and work closely with him this past year. I am grateful for his continued dedication to this organization and those we serve as well as for his role as a mentor to me. I also want to recognize the tremendous effort put forth by our board – an amazing group of talented people who make our organization what it is today.  Their collective skills and passion are unmatched and I appreciate their dedication to our work and look forward to leading the organization to a bright future alongside them.

I hope to have the opportunity to get to know each of you — our donors, volunteers, partners and neighbors.

I appreciate your continued support of Care in Action Minnesota and look forward to sharing our stories and news with you.

With humble gratitude,

Katherine A. Sims,

Executive Director,

Care in Action Minnesota

Announcement: CIAM’s Executive Director Transition

Dear Friends and Supporters or Care in Action Minnesota:

I am writing to share some exciting news about my future and the future of Care in Action Minnesota. After a decade and a half of tireless service to further CIAM’s mission and values, it fills me with sadness and gratitude to announce that at the end of January 2021, I will be stepping down as the Executive Director of CIAM, to start in a new position as the Executive Director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE). GRACE works nationally and internationally to help Christian faith communities better recognize, prevent, and respond to child maltreatment by providing training, policy/procedure review and assessment, and consultation. 

I want to express my deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years: board members, nonprofit partners, funders, and, of course, our Change Makers and Community Partners. Without you, the organization would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader of this incredible organization and will watch with much excitement and anticipation as it continues to fulfill its mission. 

As I considered this change, I reflected on the 15 years since we started CIAM. Several of you have been with us since those early days! We have grown so much from one small church partner in one county to now working in 6 counties in Minnesota with several faith and business partners. I have loved working together with all of you to make a difference for children and families impacted by child maltreatment. We have kept families together. We have made reunification possible. We have helped complete the final steps for adoption. We have helped families fleeing abuse. We have helped families secure permanent housing after being homeless. We have helped children and families heal. We have raised awareness. We have prevented child abuse. Thank you!

In 2021, CIAM is well positioned and will continue to build upon its amazing work. The past few years have seen much growth, and we need a passionate Executive Director to help us move forward. I am excited to announce that Katherine Sims has been chosen by the Board of Directors as only the second Executive Director in CIAM’s history. Katherine brings an intense passion for children and families who have been impacted by abuse, and she has put that passion into action in many ways. She has been with us for the past year as our Community Programs Coordinator, so she knows our mission well. We will give a more formal introduction in the coming weeks so you get to know her more. If you would like a chance to connect with her by phone or video in the coming months, please feel free to email her at katherine@careinactionmn.org to schedule a time. 

Though I will no longer be Executive Director of CIAM, I will still be around. I am joining the Board of Directors, and I will still volunteer and train for CIAM. Being a part of CIAM and being able to partner with you in this work has taught me so many things! It has changed my life. Thank you for walking alongside me in this work and for continuing to support Care in Action Minnesota as we help children and families impacted by maltreatment.

In humble gratefulness,

Pete Singer

Founder, Care in Action Minnesota

Care in Action Minnesota Receives Grant from Sauer Family Foundation

Minnesota (December 28th, 2020) –Care in Action Minnesota (CIAM) is pleased to announce it has received a $10,000 grant from the Sauer Family Foundation. These funds will support us in our efforts as we work to enhance the quality of life of children who have experienced abuse or neglect, strengthen families, connect communities, and prevent childhood maltreatment, by providing timely crucial support that meets the basic needs of local families 

The community foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. In 2019, CIAM received its first crucial investment from the Sauer Family Foundation, which allowed us to hire our first staff person ever, after 15 years of fully volunteer run! Like Care in Action Minnesota, the Sauer Family Foundation believes “when children are abused or neglected, we need to attend to the child’s well-being and support their family.” In addition to this trauma informed response that focuses on family healing, we know preventing child maltreatment requires a focus on these protective factors within children and families that can reduce risks, build family capacity, and foster resilience. This focus is crucial to our work because abuse and neglect are often associated with factors and conditions causing families to experience toxic levels of stress; including: lack of access to basic resources, housing instability, poverty, mental health issues and social isolation. Conversely, access to these concrete resources and services can help meet families’ basic needs and support parents in their role.

While the pandemic created an array of unforeseen circumstances this past year, due to the critical investment we received from the Sauer Family Foundation, as well as, CIAM’s unique positioning, collaborative structure, and our established focus on assuring access to basic needs, while targeting a population at-risk to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, CIAM was poised to quickly and directly deploy resources in response to immediate emergency needs in our community. 

Looking ahead, with the continued generous support of the Sauer Family Foundation, CIAM’s positioning to address the growing issues surrounding childhood maltreatment is reinforced and strengthened. Care in Action Minnesota will continue to work to ensure access to immediate basic needs like groceries, housing and health-related services. Additionally, in an effort to combat COVID-19 learning loss and the digital divide, CIAM continues to work to provide technology and equipment to facilitate and enhance virtual learning opportunities, delivered directly to the child’s door. Ultimately, we hope to meet the urgent needs in our communities, support equitable long-term recovery, and fortify our ongoing efforts to strengthen families and prevent childhood maltreatment. 

About the Sauer Family Foundation

The mission of the Sauer Family Foundation is to invest in strengthening the well-being of children so they thrive in their families and communities. They work in settings that serve children who are at-risk or experiencing abuse or neglect, exposed to toxic stress/trauma, or have challenges developing reading, writing and math skills. 

About Care in Action Minnesota

Care in Action Minnesota (CIAM) was established in 2005 to further a vision of the world with no family violence, where all children, youth, and families in our community can operate at their full potential and have the resources and skills they need to live with hope and dignity.

Through a grassroots engagement model and community connections, CIAM has built a committed network of donors, crowdfunding critical goods and services that are identified by partnered County Social Worker’s, in cooperation with the families receiving relief. 

For more information or to learn how you can get involved, visit our website or contact Katherine Sims at katherine@careinactionmn.org