Nonprofit Spotlight: The Children’s Cabinet keeps children safe, families together
Dermody Properties sponsors this content
Lucas is 15 years old. He has been in and out of homelessness for the past three months, oftentimes, couch-hopping at a friend’s place. His mom wouldn’t let him return home and she even unenrolled him from school. She was at a loss. He was getting deeper and deeper into substance abuse. Lucas called Safe Place, a 24-hour hotline and network of 65 partner locations offered by The Children’s Cabinet, after seeing a sign at a local business. Safe Place offered immediate response, and then helped him with shelter, food, clothing and counseling.
These situations are unfortunately, still too common in our community. The Children’s Cabinet addresses tough issues daily that affect children and families from every background in northern Nevada.
For nearly 34 years, the organization has offered comprehensive programs and services at no charge to children and families so they can thrive within their schools, their families and their neighborhoods.
“Our approach works because we focus on strengthening families, not just on helping one person,” said Kim Young, Executive Director of The Children’s Cabinet. “We serve children from birth through 24 years old. The community’s kids are our kids.”
The organization ensures the proper resources, regardless of a families’ circumstances, are given. More than 11,000 families are provided services annually, ranging from case management, youth development, behavioral health and early education support and development.
In 1985, Michael Dermody, a local businessman and CEO of Dermody Properties, saw issues that were occurring with children and families in the community and began assembling a cabinet of business owners, legislators, and public officials to address the needs of underserved children and families.
“Over the last three decades, The Children’s Cabinet has successfully filled gaps in service to address the needs of children,” said Michael C. Dermody, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Dermody Properties and Founding Chair of The Children’s Cabinet. “The creation of a unique and lasting public-private partnership is an organizational strength. It enables us to work side-by-side with public agencies to develop programs and services to respond quickly to the changing needs of the community.”
With more than 20 programs, The Children’s Cabinet continues to build on the support of local and state government officials, community leaders and representatives from social, juvenile and judicial agencies.
These partnerships extend its reach and ensure that the most important issues are being prioritized and are assisting the families that need it most.
One program, Signs of Suicide (SOS) was initiated four years ago to address mental health as a top priority, specifically aimed at reducing suicide and depression in adolescents.
Funding from the Washoe County Health District, Renown Health, and the Washoe County School District has helped provide education and screenings for all Washoe County 7th grade students, who are particularly vulnerable at this stage in their development.
SOS takes place in the classroom environment and is presented by SOS-trained Children’s Cabinet case managers and licensed therapists. Through the use of ACT (acknowledge, care, tell), these steps teach students the actions to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult.
“With 140 trained staff members, we can provide programs, services and mentoring to ensure that our reach is not just broad but also deep—and life-changing,” said Michael Russell, Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Children’s Cabinet and CEO of United Construction Company. “We partner with a network of human services agencies, educators and business leaders who make a difference in the lives of young people in need.”
Because of Safe Place and The Children’s Cabinet, Lucas is on a better path today. He is now receiving case management support, has been provided with transitional living, is back in school, and is now communicating with his mom. His Children’s Cabinet case manager is working with Lucas and his mom to find the best substance abuse treatment to meet his needs.
Together with community partners, The Children’s Cabinet has changed lives and improved communities throughout our state. Thanks to generous donor and corporate support throughout the year, all of these services are free and available to families who need them.
For more information or to donate, please visit ChildrensCabinet.org or call 775-856-6200.
This article was provide by The Children’s Cabinet, on behalf of Dermody Properties, which sponsors this content.
Christal Park Keegan’s professional experience includes working as an attorney for the National Judicial College in Reno and for the Chapman Law Firm in Northern Nevada.