The abuse and neglect of children is a global problem with serious lifelong consequences. It cuts across all socio-economic, racial, and religious lines. Child abuse causes suffering to children and families; it can result in stress that is associated with disruptions in early brain development. Extreme stress can impair the development of the nervous and immune systems. As adults, maltreated children are at increased risk for behavioral, physical and mental health problems.
Worldwide, it is estimated that 40 million children are subjected to abuse each year with nearly a quarter of all adults reporting that they suffered physical abuse as a child. However, since children are often too young, too scared or too ashamed to tell anyone about it, abuse can easily be hidden from view and these reports may underestimate the true occurrence.
In 2014, there were 56,000 children in the UK on child protection registers or the subject of child protection plans. For each of these children, it is estimated that there are another 8 children who are suffering from abuse and neglect and not getting the support they need.
Unlike every other childhood cause, children suffering from abuse lack a natural parental constituency for advocacy and funding. The alternative investment industry, in their support of Help For Children, has clearly stood up for these children.
Help For Children is a direct result of the commitment that Hedge Funds Care and Private Equity Cares has shown to the issue. Since inception, HFC UK has distributed over £1.3 million to fund 45 grants. The financial community continues to give generously and is committed to the growth and development of the charity to continue making a difference in the treatment and prevention of child abuse in the UK.
In responding to the complex issues around child maltreatment, HFC grants take a multi-faceted approach in the types of programs funded. We currently fund programs in the following four impact areas.
Every grantee goes through a rigorous funding process. Grantees must submit a Letter of Intent and then be invited to submit a full proposal.
Potential grantees are asked to identify the outcomes they expect to achieve with a Help For Children grant. Those outcomes must be related to preventing and treating child abuse. In addition, every potential grantee must identify how they will measure success in achieving their outcomes.
Help For Children Grants Committees, and the local Academic Consultant, evaluate the population, problem, and activity proposed by each applicant for adherence to the Mission of preventing and treating child abuse. They then assess the specific projected outcomes and the measurement tools employed by each applicant to determine success for effectiveness and efficacy. Help For Children does not believe in one size fitting all. By allowing each grantee to propose the measurement tools they wish to employ, and then monitoring their implementation, HFC allows for local creativity and integrity while also ensuring significant oversight for evaluating results.