FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact: Lauren Dartt Tennyson Center for Children [email protected]/720-855-3326
Passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) by Congress has set in motion the opportunity for radical, positive change to improve outcomes for families impacted by child neglect and abuse.
DENVER – (January 7, 2020) – Tennyson Center for Children (Tennyson Center), which has served children and families experiencing neglect, abuse, and trauma in Colorado since 1904, announced Megan Vogels to serve as its Chief Strategy Officer. Vogels will drive the execution of Tennyson Center’s Rewiring initiative to significantly change how Colorado’s child welfare sector approaches families impacted by child neglect and abuse. Ultimately, Vogels’ work will provide a Colorado roadmap that leverages early, family-centered approaches and interventions that support finding lasting solutions for families impacted by neglect and abuse – with the ultimate goal of helping these families stabilize, heal, and reintegrate into their communities.
Currently, despite considerable effort, the U.S. spends $80 billion a year on direct costs associated with child neglect and abuse. Youth engaged in child welfare emerging into adulthood are disproportionately unemployed, undereducated, incarcerated, homeless, addicted, suicidal, and traumatized. Tennyson’s Rewiring initiative aims to change these outcomes through a variety of different approaches.
Designed with the specific needs of each Colorado county in mind, the overarching objectives of Rewiring include:
- Earlier Intervention: Get involved with at-risk families earlier and provide them with resources and support that are critical to keeping them together and preventing them from falling further into crisis. Child welfare funding is currently allocated for later-stage, crisis interventions when children and families are often experiencing severe abuse and neglect.
- Unique, Collaborative Approaches: Shift away from a “one size fits all” approach to supporting family success by weaving together evidence-based therapeutic practices and innovative community-based services. These include, but are not limited to, art, speech and music therapy; parenting skills programs; and non-conventional social supports provided by communities of faith, Boys & Girls Clubs and other allies.
- Transforming Funding: Pooling federal, state, and county dollars along with philanthropic capital into a fund that enables counties who currently allocate finances to later-stage, more costly interventions to intervene upstream and offer lower-cost, higher-impact prevention services in partnership with nonprofits and community organizations.
- Consistent and Long-term Monitoring: Track programmatic effectiveness and finances to show lasting impact and demonstrate how those positive results can be sustained should financing be invested similarly in the future; and track families to ensure every child sustainably reintegrates into safe families and communities in holistic ways that ultimately eliminate human services involvement.
“Megan is forming new, ambitious partnerships with Colorado counties, state agencies, and national stakeholders to offer a county-focused roadmap that will change funding flows, create new opportunities to intervene earlier when maltreatment is apparent, and make later-term services like those Tennyson Center offers today less needed and therefore less utilized,” said Ned Breslin, President and CEO of Tennyson Center. “We fervently hope this is just the beginning when it comes to the way we partner and work with counties, nonprofits, and private partners across Colorado.”
“Getting upstream, before families fall into crisis, is the key to a healthier Colorado,” said Vogels. “I’m excited to work with Colorado’s counties in a collaborative way to show how early interventions can reduce the number of families entering child welfare and the number of children needing residential treatment.”
Vogels has worked in the field of child, adolescent, and family mental health for more than 15 years. With a focus on understanding trauma and families, Vogels has extensive experience building and running therapeutic programs. Vogels has a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Boston College and is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado, as well as a nationally board-certified counselor.
About Tennyson Center for Children
Tennyson Center for Children has served Colorado’s most neglected, abused, and traumatized children since 1904. Tennyson provides a safe and stable home for kids ages 5-18 who are facing critical circumstances, and offers an accredited, therapeutic K-12 school with a 3-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio on their campus. Tennyson’s clinicians enter diverse counties across the state to provide preventative services and therapy to strengthen families with children of all ages. In 2019, Tennyson launched Rewiring, a statewide, collaborative effort to provide earlier intervention and resources to families in order to strengthen them and prevent them from entering child welfare. Learn more at www.tennysoncenter.org.