ChildSafe

Expert Care for Abused Children

San Antonio, TX   |  http://www.childsafe-sa.org

Mission

ChildSafe's mission is to restore dignity, hope, and trust to children traumatized by abuse and neglect. Before our creation, there were no city or county agencies to help child victims and their families through the healing process or coordinate the long and difficult journey through the adult­-oriented justice system. Historically, information on cases was not shared between entities, efforts were rarely coordinated, and obtaining successful outcomes for victims was virtually impossible. Our vision is a community where every child has an opportunity to a safe and protected childhood – to grow up and develop intellectually and socially into strong, secure, and healthy adults. Breaking the cycle of abuse requires us to stand together with one voice to confront this issue with courage.

Ruling year info

1992

President & CEO

Ms. Kim K. Abernethy

Main address

3730 IH-10 E

San Antonio, TX 78220 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Alamo Children's Advocacy Center

EIN

74-2633697

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year. At least 1 in 9 children has experienced sexual abuse. These are likely underestimates (CDC). San Antonio continues to have the highest proportionate rate of confirmed child abuse cases of all major Texas cities. In 2020, Bexar County had 5,499 confirmed cases of child abuse, a 2% increase from 2019. Yes, despite the severity and prevalence of child abuse, it is commonly underreported--only 1 in 10 sexually abused children will ever tell. Tens of thousands of Bexar County's 650,000 children are silently suffering alone. As a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), ChildSafe is the only agency of its kind in Bexar County for the most severe cases of child abuse and neglect – those that rise to the level of a criminal offense. We provide forensic interviews, case management, care coordination for the sexually exploited, and advanced clinical therapy programs in a safe, child-friendly environment.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Forensic Interviews

ChildSafe is the only neutral party in Bexar County providing forensic interviews to child victims of abuse and neglect. A forensic interview of a child is a developmentally sensitive and legally sound method for specially trained interviewers to gather information as part of the larger abuse investigation. Digital records of this interview are shared among relevant multidisciplinary team (MDT) members. This process enables the child to tell their story fewer times, thereby lessening the trauma of the investigative process.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

Protective family members caring for a child victim of abuse may struggle to meet the unexpected needs of a child in crisis. Our staff ensures the child and family understand the forensic interview process and the legal/civil investigative processes. Our staff identifies family needs, ensures access to support, and refers for therapy or emergency assistance. We continue assisting families until a child turns 18 years old or no longer needs services.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children
Caregivers
Economically disadvantaged people

In most cases, the alleged perpetrator is known to the child , and most children suffer abuse in silence for years; as a result, reestablishing trust in families is critical. ChildSafe's Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention services are specifically designed to lower risks for destructive behavior in abused children and increase developmental assets needed to build emotionally healthy adults. We also offer Parent­ Child Care, a proven treatment program for parents of very young children with behavioral problems stemming from the trauma of abuse or neglect.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children
Caregivers

In the Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH) program, families participate in adventure-based activities designed to promote empowerment, open lines of communication, and trust in families.

The program is one-of­-a-kind for any Children's Advocacy Center in the nation. It was published in the 2017 Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma and received an international award for demonstrating commitment to evidence-based practices, having proven outcomes, and serving a socially vulnerable population that rarely gets opportunities to participate in outdoor activities like archery, kayaking, hiking, a ropes course, etc.

Population(s) Served
Families
Non-adult children

We empower adults by addressing low awareness of the prevalence, consequences, and circumstances of abuse, a limited knowledge of steps and actions to protect children, and the reluctance to take action in response to suspicions of abuse. Last year, we trained 14,950 adults in child abuse prevention best practices.

We train Region 20 school district employees online with high-quality comprehensive child abuse recognition and prevention training. Our online training is bilingual.

In 2017, we developed a Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package that offers school and district administrators and staff a roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or district-wide. The Training Package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about manifestation of trauma in students and the appropriate approaches to addressing these behaviors, such as adjusting punitive approaches. In a trauma-sensitive school, all aspects of the educational environment—from workforce training to engagement with students and families to procedures and policies—are grounded in an understanding of trauma and its impact and are designed to promote resilience for all. Schools become supportive environments in which traumatized children can focus, behave appropriately, and learn.

In 2017, we partnered with Humana Foundation and created a similar online training for medical and healthcare professionals to better identify physical abuse.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Creating a safer community requires strong collaboration and engagement in the greater community and at an individual level, which ChildSafe achieves with an MDT structure. By collaborating with our MDT, we create an environment that centers the child and surrounds them with the supportive services necessary to help them heal. Our MDT ensures that vital investigative information is shared to protect children from additional abuse and protect our community's children from harm by prosecuting child abuse perpetrators.

ChildSafe's MDT is referred to as the model for the state of Texas among all CACs and includes the Department of Family and Protective Services, 18 local law enforcement jurisdictions, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney's Office, the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department, the Bexar County Children's Court Division & Programs, the Children's Hospital of San Antonio's Center for Miracles & Forensic Nurse Examiner Program, and Methodist Specialty & Transplant Hospital's Forensic Nurse Examiner Program.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children
Preteens
Adults

We have been tracking sexually exploited youth (SEY) in Bexar County since 2015. We are the recipient of Federal and Governor's Office funds and have a dedicated care coordination team for SEY that ensures victims receive coordinated crisis recovery and long-term support and delivery of healing services. In March 2020, a 24-hour drop-in center with dispatch services operated by a nonprofit partner opened at ChildSafe's campus. We are only national CAC with such a facility onsite.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents
Young adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Innovation by Design 2020

Fast Company

American Architecture Design 2020

Chicago Athenaeum

SA Mayor's Choice 2020

American Institute of Architects

SA Community Impact 2020

American Institute of Architects

Community Impact 2020

SA Business Journal

Best Public Project 2020

SA Business Journal

Affiliations & memberships

National Children's Alliance - Associate Member 1992

United Way Member Agency 1992

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children receiving forensic interviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Forensic Interviews

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Children who tell their story of abuse just once to a specially trained forensic interviewer who shares this sensitive information with our multidisciplinary team of professionals to ensure justice.

Total number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Caregivers

Related Program

Client Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of children and families who received services including how to meet the needs of a child in crisis, access support, and receive referrals for therapy or emergency assistance.

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Education and Prevention

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of adults trained to recognize and report child abuse.

Total number of counseling sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Preteens, Adolescents, Adults

Related Program

Clinical Therapy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Advanced clinical therapy sessions provided to abused children and their families/caretakers.

Number of people who received clinical mental health care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, Adults

Related Program

Clinical Therapy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of abused children and their families/caretakers who received advanced clinical therapy services.

Number of participants in outdoor behavioral healthcare

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Preteens, Adolescents, Adults

Related Program

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Children and their families received therapeutic care through participation in outdoor behavioral healthcare (adventure therapy) activities to promote trust and communication.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ChildSafe wants to heal abused children in Bexar County now and for decades to come. We also want to prevent abuse from ever happening in the first place. Ultimately, we want to eradicate child sexual abuse in Bexar County.

Since 1992, ChildSafe is Bexar County's only Children's Advocacy Center and has served more than 82,000 abuse victims since our inception. Our trauma-informed services are centered on the child to ensure families feel supported and safe. Our comprehensive intervention services restore hope and healing to vulnerable victims and their families no matter how complicated their situations may be.

Because prevention and education are crucial to stopping the cycle of abuse, ChildSafe empowers change by providing prevention training to school districts, education and healthcare professionals, law enforcement, parents, and caregivers on recognizing and reporting child abuse.

Our vision is a community where every child has an opportunity to a safe and protected childhood – to grow up and develop intellectually and socially into strong, secure, and healthy adults. We believe that breaking the cycle of abuse requires collective voice and action by an informed and empowered community that stands ready to confront this issue with courage.

ChildSafe continues to build its reputation as an advanced treatment center for abused children and their families. To address the needs of our low-to-moderate income families, we have enhanced the depth of healing services we provide. We are also evolving our role as an abuse prevention training provider to be responsive to the changing needs of schools, adults, and youth service providers.

To fight the issue of abuse underreporting, ChildSafe's multidisciplinary team enhancement program (MEP) reviews abuse reports and ensures that no child suspected of being abused slips through the cracks. This results in smooth coordination of care for our clients through the investigative, prosecutorial, and healing phases. MEP staff identifies and recommends that children be referred to ChildSafe for forensic interviews. As needed, staff provides clients with referrals for other services.

The safety and healing of our children and families is foremost to us. To that end, we designed and constructed a campus to allow us to provide the best abuse intervention and prevention services possible. Because of our community's investments in our capital campaign, we began providing our services at our campus in August 2019. Our new 65,000 sq. ft. campus also helps us collaborate better with our law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecution, and health partners who are located alongside us at our campus, a best practice for Children's Advocacy Centers like ChildSafe. We have been able to provide new services, such as care coordination for sexually exploited youth, because of available space in our campus. After years of operating in cramped spaces from two locations, we finally have room to meet the growing needs of vulnerable children and families in Bexar County.

Our new building incorporates nature and its healing powers in its design. Welcoming outside areas inspire and provide space for healing and reflection. We have seen small children cry when it was time to leave play spaces and a young boy who had made an outcry of sexual abuse asked if he could have his next birthday party at ChildSafe. Such seemingly small gestures speak volumes about the impact of our new campus; making children feel special and safe, and quietly conveying a sense of calm means that the building is working precisely as we intended it to.

The building is safe, nurturing, and restorative for the children and families we serve and for our partners and staff who care for them. Our new campus allows ChildSafe's expert staff to give the very best care to children who have been abused and neglected. Our community has engaged with staff at our centrally located campus and has been inspired to help our children and families through increased financial gifts, donations of essential supplies, volunteer hours, and so much more.

ChildSafe staff provides in-person tours of our campus. A virtual tour of our campus is on ChildSafe's YouTube channel.

A leader in the delivery of trauma-informed care, ChildSafe works with a multidisciplinary team of Child Protective Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's office to ensure families get a continuum of care and perpetrators are brought to justice. ChildSafe also partners with agencies throughout the county to provide crisis care and emergency services.

Our innovative Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH) program has been recognized with an international award. We collaborate with the United Way to train youth service providers how to recognize and report child abuse. Through our Trauma-Sensitive Schools program, schools become supportive environments in which traumatized children can focus, behave appropriately, and learn. Last year, we trained 696 staff in 11 schools through this program.

Our therapeutic campus has been recognized with multiple international, national, and local awards for its design and community impact.

Data from the past three years show that 75% of our child clients demonstrate improvements in functional, behavioral, and physical symptoms related to abuse. As a result of program participation, 90% of families report a decrease in anxiety after receiving services at ChildSafe, a clearer understanding of the legal and civil investigative processes, successful connections to supportive services, and increased knowledge of the impact of trauma on children.

Our capital campaign has been supported by community leaders as well as foundations outside of San Antonio and Texas. Noted children's philanthropist Harvey E. Najim, who donated $5 million to the project and for whom the new building is named, shared his reason for giving. “I make this gift to ensure that our most valuable asset — our children — are protected and safe," Najim said. “My hope is that their tears will turn to cheers and their fears to hope."

Capital campaign donors have demonstrated their commitment to children in our community and their confidence in ChildSafe. We have raised $21.7M (60%) with $13.1 remaining to raise to reach the $34.8M goal.

ChildSafe's staff appear frequently in the media to educate and engage the public in our activities. Our community is aware of our need to combat child abuse. A 2020 Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll shows that 81% of people surveyed consider child abuse and extremely serious or very serious problem in San Antonio. Child abuse resonates with concerned citizens who care about the trauma inflicted on vulnerable children. When left untreated, abuse can leave a physical, mental, and behavioral mark on abuse survivors, their children, and society.

We continue to reach out to prospective donors and supporters who see the value in investing in ChildSafe's annual campaign and our capital campaign so we have the resources necessary to best meet the needs of abused children and families.

As a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), ChildSafe is the only agency of its kind in Bexar County for the most severe cases of child abuse and neglect – those that rise to the level of a criminal offense. Each year, ChildSafe serves more than 5,500 children (and their non-offending family members); 80% were sexually abused or exploited. We are a national leader in the CAC movement, recognized for our expertise in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases; cutting-edge clinical services and programs for victims and their non-offending family members; and our community and professional abuse prevention training programs.

We provide forensic interviews, crisis intervention, case management, care coordination for sexually exploited youth, and advanced clinical and outdoor behavioral healthcare programs in a safe, child-friendly environment where our distinctive multidisciplinary team (MDT) of law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecution, medical and mental health professionals coordinate strategies sensitive to the needs of each child and share information to put perpetrators behind bars. Because prevention and education are crucial to stopping the cycle of abuse, ChildSafe initiates change by training school staff, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and caregivers to recognize and report child abuse.

This two-pronged approach is necessary to address our community's abuse epidemic. Both intervention/treatment and prevention/education are key to ensuring children who have been abused can live healthy, happy lives. Without proper and effective intervention, these young victims of abuse are at greater risk of long-term adverse social, emotional and developmental outcomes. And increasing community awareness of the issue of child abuse is critical to reduce the numbers of children who are abused.

In 2014, ChildSafe created the Cardboard Kids® campaign to increase awareness of child abuse within our community and prevent further abuse and neglect of vulnerable children. Since the Cardboard Kids campaign began, dozens of children have made outcries of abuse after learning about ChildSafe or Cardboard Kids on the news, TV, or radio. What began with 5,800 cardboard cut-outs in 2014 grew to 120,000 distributed and displayed throughout the community at schools, businesses, organizations, homes, and community locations.

ChildSafe is collaborating with our community to make child abuse intervention and prevention a priority. ChildSafe is making an impact, but we need to be ever vigilant in our efforts to reach more adults through prevention/education and provide intervention/treatment to all affected children.

Our ultimate goal is to prevent child sexual abuse before it occurs. As we formulate the steps to make this happen, we are ensuring that all the children we treat have safe, stable, nurturing relationships, and environments.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our clients are children ages 3-18 who have experienced sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, exploitation, or witnessed a violent crime. Our average client was abused by someone she knows and trusts. Last year, our clients were: -73% female -55% were 12 and younger -68% Hispanic -17% White -8% Black -6% Multiracial -1% Other -77% low-to-moderate income (HUD's Median Area Income Measurement) -76% sexual abuse cases

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

ChildSafe
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ChildSafe

Board of directors
as of 11/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Ray Battaglia

Law Offices of Ray Battaglia

Term: 2020 - 2023


Board co-chair

Ms. Jackie Gorman

Ivy Consulting Services

Term: 2019 - 2022

Angelica Powers

Bexar County District Attorney's Office

Michelle Cunningham

Dept of Family and Protective Services

Paul Greer

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Larry Mathews

The Mathews Law Office

Marc Nourani

Rackspace

Phil Lane

KSAT-TV

Cary Clack

San Antonio Express-News

Laura Elizardo

Capital Group

Captain Michael Starnes

San Antonio Police Department

Deputy Chief Nancy Sanford

Bexar County Sheriff's Office

Amanda Boyd

USAA

Angel Crockett

InFlow

Peggy Eighmy

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Paul Thornton

Vantage Bank

Preston Woolfolk

DOCUmation

Mike McCray

Retired Software Executive

Ina Minjarez

State Representative

Julia Reinhart

Valero Corporation

Hank Whitman Jr

Retired Commissioner, TDFPS

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/02/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.