Drug Endangered Children Approach
(Carterville, IL | July 13, 2017)

Drug endangered children are part of a growing population of children whose lives have been seriously and negatively impacted by dangerous drugs.

On July 13, the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children held a training on the John A. Logan campus. The training was sponsored by The Poshard Foundation. The training focused on how to implement the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Approach, which has been proven to be effective in increasing the chances of better outcomes for drug endangered children and break multi-generational cycles of abuse and neglect. Approximately 150 practitioners from the community of law enforcement, social service, mental health counselors, child advocates, clergy and teachers attended the training.

Stacee Read, Director of DEC Network Development, and Eric Nation, Director of Training and Development, conducted the one-day workshop emphasizing how various professionals are in a position to identify, protect, and serve drug endangered children and their families.

Jo Poshard, Director of the Poshard Foundation, said that communication has been lacking and there seems to be a breakdown among agencies. She said she hopes this training has been the first step in changing this situation.

For more information about the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, please click here.

The Poshard Foundation Announced 30 Grant Awards to Southern Illinois Agencies Serving Abused and Neglected Children
(Carterville, IL | April 28, 2017)

As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Jo Poshard, Director of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, announced grants for $100,000 at a press conference on April 28, 2017, in the Board Conference Room at John A. Logan College. A total of 30 grants were given to Southern Illinois agencies to be used specifically for services directly dealing with the abused, abandoned, and neglected children in the region.

"The Poshard Foundation has graciously assisted us with funding to start a CASA visitation room for local Franklin County abused and neglected children," said Mariah Hayes, director of the Franklin County CASA. "The dream to have a safe, secure, and family-friendly location would not have happened without their financial support."

Those organizations receiving grants are: Baptist Children's Home, Carmi; Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale; Cairo Women's Shelter; Caritas Family Solutions, Carterville; Caritas Family Solutions, Mt. Vernon; CASA of Franklin County; CASA of Jefferson County; CASA of Saline County; CASA of Williamson County; Centerstone; Children's Home and Aid, Herrin; Children's Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, Anna; Department of Child and Family Services, Southern Region; Family Counseling Center, Golconda; Franklin-Williamson County Child Advocacy Center; Hoyleton Ministries, Hoyleton; Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Marion; Lutheran Social Services of Illinois Prison & Family Services, Marion; Mentors 4 Kids, Harrisburg; PAVE, Centralia; Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center, Pinckneyville; Pregnancy Matters, Carbondale; Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless; Spero Family Services (UMCH), Mt. Vernon; The Amy Center, Mt. Vernon; The Guardian Center, Carmi; The Night's Shield, West Frankfort; The Women's Center, Carbondale; Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center, Anna; and Williamson County Family Crisis Center, Herrin.

"The funding from the Poshard Foundation aids in the achievement of our many goals, which would be very difficult at a time when there is a distinct lack of resources available in the southern seven counties coupled with the continued State of Illinois budget crisis leaving zero other funding for our agency," said Sherrie L. Crabb, executive director of the Family Counseling Center, Inc.

Jo Poshard noted, "Proceeds from the October 2016 Poshard Foundation Brunch made these grants possible. We are very grateful to each of our donors." Poshard continued, "As Child Abuse Prevention Month winds down, it is clear that a month isn't enough time to sound the alarm for abused children in our region. Child abuse is above the state average in each of the 20 counties in Southern Illinois. This simply isn't acceptable."

Glenn and Jo Poshard, co-founders of the Poshard Foundation, believe every child deserves a safe person, a safe place, and a safe community. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many of our children in Southern Illinois. The abused, neglected, and abandoned ones are those the Poshard Foundation seeks to help. Whether it is by providing counseling, cribs, therapeutic camps, supplies for college-bound foster children, or training for the prevention of violence against children, the Foundation strives to make a difference in young lives.

"The grant we receive from the Poshard Foundation allows us to provide therapeutic, social, and recreational services to children who are victims of, or have witnessed, domestic violence," said Cathy McClanahan, director of The Women's Center, Inc. "These children come to the Center afraid, anxious and often angry or hurt. Thanks to the Poshard Foundation, the therapeutic programming we are able to provide these children helps them to develop a positive sense of self which is necessary to grow into healthy, productive, caring adults."

There are so many needs in Southern Illinois, as one agency director points out. "A portion of the monies that the Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center will receive from the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children will be utilized as part of our counseling program for children who have been victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse or witness to a violent crime," said Lean Brown, executive director of the Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center. "Counseling is a vital part of the healing process for children and families, but these services can be very costly and often unattainable for families. Trauma experiences are at the core of every childhood abuse case and evident with each child that the CAC encounters. It is our task to provide them with the tools that they need to move from victim to survivor and author of their own story. This funding ensures that the children with whom we work can access quality trauma focused services to begin the healing process at no cost to the families."

For more information contact The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children at (618) 985-2828 ext. 8564 or email joposhard@jalc.edu.

Child Abuse Prevention Month
(Carterville, IL | March 31, 2017)

On Friday, March 31, 2017, the Poshard Foundation partnered with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, along with other community organizations, to kick off state and national Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Guest speakers included Ronald K. House, President, John A. Logan College; Jo Poshard, Executive Director, The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children; Tarra Winters, Prevention Specialist, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois; Bob Cain, an Area Administrator for the Southern Region of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Evan Owens, Franklin County State's Attorney; and Ginger Meyer, Children's Medical and Mental Health Resource Network. The event included resource tables provided by area agencies highlighting programs and resources for area families.

Franklin County State's Attorney Owens talked about a program in Franklin County, one of four in the state, to pilot a more formalized team-based approach to child abuse cases. He said the goal of the program, scheduled to begin July 1, is to build upon the collaboration that already exists between partner agencies in the county and to identify areas where the response network can be strengthened. "Fighting child abuse and neglect is an ongoing, evolving and complicated process," said Owen.

Anyone who suspects the abuse of a child should call 1-800-25-ABUSE.

      Jo Poshard, Executive Director of Poshard Foundation for Abused Children

     Tom English, Executive Editor, and Craig Rogers, Publisher, The Southern

     Ron House, President, John A. Logan College, reading Governor's Proclamation

     Tarra Winters, Prevention Specialist, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois

     Bob Cain, Area Administrator for Southern Region, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

     Evan Owens, Franklin County State's Attorney

     Ginger Meyer, Children's Medical and Mental Health Resource Network

     Crowd at the Kick-Off for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Poshard Foundation Receives $5,000 Grant from Ameren Illinois
(Carterville, IL | December 12, 2016)

The Poshard Foundation recently received a $5,000 grant from Ameren Illinois to support the Beds for Kids and Toys for Kids programs.

Jo Poshard, Executive Director of The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children said, "Thank you to Ameren Illinois for your concern for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in southern Illinois. Every year Ameren has been there to support community charities in our region and has graciously donated thousands of dollars to children in crisis. This grant to our Foundation will help buy beds for those children, many of whom are sleeping on floors or cots, and who are not getting a good night's sleep. The funds will also provide toys for children who would otherwise not be receiving gifts over the holidays and are not on anyone's Christmas list."

"Beds for Kids" helps abused children in southern Illinois, who have been placed in foster care or under the protection of a family member, feel as comfortable as possible. Local, state, and federal agencies can take care of many needs, but beds are not a resource they can frequently provide. In these cases, the program ensures that children who have been through difficult experiences can have a bed of their own to sleep in.

The "Toys for Kids" program will also receive support from the grant. This program provides Christmas toys to abused, abandoned, and neglected children in southern Illinois who would otherwise not receive gifts over the holidays. The Poshard Foundation works with area agencies to identify these children so they do not "fall through the cracks" this holiday season.

The grant funds were made available through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. Ray Riddle, division director of Ameren Illinois, said a key focus of this program is to partner with non-profit organizations like The Poshard Foundation to improve the quality of life in Ameren Illinois' service territory.

"There is no greater way to invest in the future of our communities than to support our children and help them succeed," said Riddle. "The Poshard Foundation provides meaningful programs that provide children with a range of resources - from basic necessities such as a bed, to the joyful experience of opening a gift on Christmas morning. This is why we are proud to continue to partner with them."

For more information, please contact Jo Poshard, jo.poshard@jalc.edu.

Documentary and Training
(Carterville, IL | July 26, 2016)

The documentary, Paper Tigers, accompanied by a training at no cost to participants was presented on July 26, 2016, at John A. Logan College, sponsored by The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children.

Paper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth.

Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities-a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

This movie is a 'must see' for anyone who works with children and families.

A post film discussion and training "Healing the Traumatic Childhood through Attunement and Understanding" was facilitated by Chaz Franke.

Chaz has been practicing therapy full time since 2007. Since the beginning of his career as a therapist, Chaz has worked with trauma and its long reaching effects.

This work has included extensive work with all ages and all walks of life.

Chaz is currently employed as a faculty member in the Master's in Social Work program at Saint Louis University.