In 1987, two women dedicated to the mission of addressing the needs of neglected children founded Covenant to Care. One, a social worker at the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the other an employee of the Christian Conference of Churches saw an opportunity to mobilize the faith community to help children suffering from abuse, neglect and poverty. The co-founders received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and began its first program entitled, Adopt a Social Worker. After three years of proven success, the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and private donors funded the ongoing program. Rebranded to Covenant to Care for Children (CCC) in March 2005, this program is now in its 23rd year of operation. Though the agency works through the faith communities that provide goods, services, and mentoring support, no youth is required to be a participant or member of any faith tradition or religion.
Our Reach One Youth project originated from an initiative established at First Church of Christ in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1992. In September 1999, Linda Smith-Cohen, LCSW was hired to enhance and expand the initiative into formal mentoring. With Linda's assistance, the program developed a mentor-training manual that received approval by the Connecticut Mentoring Partnership in 2000.
In July 2004, in collaboration with Families in Crisis, CCC secured a three-year grant from the Federal Government, Administration for Children and Families to begin a project mentoring children of female prisoners. Mom, Mentor and Me addressed the critical needs of children from the greater Bridgeport, New Britain, New Haven, and Waterbury areas.
These two mentoring projects have merged into one Mentoring Program serving at-risk youth and teens, and children of incarcerated parents. The Mentoring Program is modeled on BBBS and the Amachi methodologies.
In 1992, Asylum Hill Congregational Church was asked to collaborate with CCC to meet the emergency needs of families for food.
The Children's Enrichment Fund has been available for most of the years that CCC has been in operation, but not officially named until 1996. This program provides funding to purchase tangible items and services that cannot be met through any other program or fund.
In 1999, Covenant to Care for Children began a program called Critical Goods that allows social workers to have items, which are critical to the basic needs of children, delivered within a short amount of time.
Covenant to Care for Children (CCC) is a 27-year-old statewide agency whose mission is to mobilize and channel the generosity of caring and faithful people. CCC advocates for, and provides direct assistance to Connecticut’s children and youth who are neglected, abused or at-risk.
Last year, in the wealthiest of the fifty states, nearly 10,000 of Connecticut’s children were the subjects of substantiated abuse and/or neglect reports. The large majority of Connecticut’s residents want to help, but it is difficult for an individual to know how to meet each child’s needs effectively, especially given the need to respect the child’s privacy and, in most cases, the great complexity of their needs. CCC supplements state resources available to these kids by bridging the divide between abused/neglected/at-risk children and people of good-will who want to effectively help them.
The adopted values of CCC are that we be: child-centered; responsive to needs; motivated by faith; respectful of human dignity; and caring toward all. Our vision is a future where all Connecticut children have caring families and safe places to live and all caring and faithful people demonstrate their commitment to the welfare of children.
CCC’s programs assure cost-effectiveness by remaining prevention focused, and supplementing, never substituting for, public resources for abused and neglected kids. More often than not, our early intervention programs work to keep at-risk children/adolescents and their families intact. The furnishings and other goods that these children need are requested by social workers for specific kids, with specific needs, at a particularly critical moment.
The cost-effectiveness of early intervention, targeted resources for identified at-risk kids may be captured by considering a bed provided through CCC to a child living in a home without beds. That bed helps prevent that child from ending up in a bed in a homeless shelter or a residential facility for abused/neglected kids waiting for a foster home, or needing a therapeutic setting before they are ready to live in a private home with a family. Public dollars are available for the beds in these institutional settings; but they are generally not available for the child still in her/his own home. The long term health, education, and economic prospects for the child sleeping in her own home are better than for the child removed from home and sleeping in a residential program’s bed. In other words, our beds remain further upstream because our programs usually help prevent the kids from falling into the child welfare/juvenile justice stream.
CT Public Cost Per Day: $27.00
CCC Prevention Cost Per Day: $00.09
Statement from Board Chair, Lori Rittman Clark:
I choose to volunteer with Covenant to Care for Children (“CCC”) because its mission of providing neglected, abused and at-risk children with a brighter future is important and meaningful to me. The work that CCC does is vital to the promotion of a caring and generous society and I am proud to Chair CCC’s Board of Directors.
During its first 25 years, CCC has improved the lives of thousands of children in myriad ways, such as providing beds to enable children to transition from foster care to living with family members, or providing children with some normal trappings of childhood, like a bike to ride or a summer camp experience.
As we look forward to the future, we have challenges to meet. From a governance perspective, we must insure that we have a diverse, energetic and dedicated Board committed to safeguarding CCC and its mission, in the interest of the children that we serve. We are addressing this challenge through a focus on Board development and education, particularly in the area of fund-raising. We are also continually assessing the composition of our current Board and committees, in the interest of identifying gaps or needs and formulating a plan to address them.
Uses for Evaluation Results:
The combination of output and outcome data give us a picture of how many abused, neglected, and other high stress risk children we are serving in what ways, with what initial results. CCC’s Board and senior staff review these results in light of our strategic plan, the broader and more long-term view of what these clients need to achieve a healthy and fulfilling adulthood, alternative strategies and programs (including prospects for collaboration), and cost-effectiveness.
As part of the Results Based Analysis (RBA) service delivery network, we work with the State of Connecticut and our sister child focused community service providers to collaboratively build statistical results.
CCC’s Executive Director has over 30 years of business management and human service program experience; rich in community outreach, volunteer coordination, and corporate marketing. She has applied these skills to serve abused/neglected and at-risk children in poverty for the past twelve years.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06150
(203) 777-2386 giveGreater@cfgnh.org
© 2015 The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. All Rights Reserved. Contact | Terms & Conditions | Privacy