Mayor Scott Announces Funding Commitment to Address Childhood Trauma and Reduce Youth Fatalities
Wednesday Nov 2nd, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, November 2, 2022) -Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new partnership with LifeBridge Health's Center for Hope to help implement recommendations made through the City's Child Fatality Review Report. Mayor Scott, through the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), is committing $500,000 annually to help support the Center for Hope's child advocacy center in its mission to care for and support young people and families impacted by violence.
"Our young people are our leaders, doctors, innovators, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow and every time they and their families are traumatized and retraumatized it makes our city's future all that more bleak," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "Baltimore's renaissance hinges on our ability to encourage healing and address all of the impacts of violence, especially on our young people. This is why I am proud to announce that, for the first time ever, the City is committing to supporting Center for Hope's efforts."
Center for Hope will use this funding to maintain 24 hour delivery of critical resources towards a coordinated, child-friendly, and sensitive response to help children manage and overcome child abuse, trauma, and witness to homicide - ultimately improving public safety outcomes for young people and families who receive these services. These services will be deployed as part of the City's Community Violence Intervention (CVI) ecosystem.
"Center for Hope is a beacon of support, healing and hope for the greater Baltimore community. For over 30 years, our child advocacy team has worked tirelessly everyday so abuse victims, child survivors of homicide, and their families can find hope again," said Adam Rosenberg, Executive Director, LifeBridge Health Center for Hope. "We are grateful to the City for the commitment they have made to these most vulnerable children and to end the cycle of violence and trauma."
Funding is made available through MONSE's general fund budget. The Scott Administration previously committed to allocation funding to implement recommendations made through the Baltimore City Health Department's 5-year Child Fatality Review Report.
"This investment is a testimony to Mayor Scott's commitment to victim services in our city and to the wellbeing and promise of our young people," said Director Shantay Jackson of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. "We are proud of this extension of our partnership with LifeBridge Health as we continue to expand our community violence intervention ecosystem and prioritize public safety and health for all Baltimoreans."
The 2021 Child Fatality Review Report found that, over the 5-year period, 208 children died in Baltimore City and that 91% of these deaths were preventable. Two-thirds of the children were found to have four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), indicating a high level of trauma and adversity in their short lives.
"The traumas that children experience in Baltimore are often tied to fatal incidents down the road. This funding is critical to supporting the difficult work of protecting our kids from avoidable harm, so that they may enjoy a safe and productive childhood," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.
Increasing investment in comprehensive intervention and wraparound services for youth victims was a key recommendation from this report. The report also emphasized the need for Baltimore City to develop a public health approach to violence, a cornerstone of the Mayor's Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan. Baltimore's 300th homicide of 2021 was a five-year-old girl who suffered from abuse and neglect.
About Center for Hope
LifeBridge Health is committed to building hope with our communities. Comprehensive programs, experts and city agency partners have joined together to foster positivity, safety and success for children, youth and adults. Center for Hope advances hope, healing, and resilience for those impacted by trauma, abuse, and violence through comprehensive response, treatment, education, and prevention from the cradle to old age. For more information, visit: