October 22, 2020

984 words 4 minutes.

Take a Stand to End Child Abuse & Trafficking

A young man accepting a donation of flour at a local food bank.

Child abuse impacts hundreds of thousands of children in the United States every year. That’s why our team of thinkers, doers, and creators at GROW are putting all of our creative muscle into an effort to make a difference in the lives of children. We’re proud to work alongside some incredible organizations in that effort.

Discover how GROW and members of our community are making an impact locally, in California, and across the U.S., and how you can get involved.

Young man receives food aid from Placer Community Foundation

Local - The Placer Community Foundation

The Placer County Community Foundation, a long-time client of GROW, does incredible work in Placer County building philanthropic resources that help nonprofits throughout the region. They do so through grantmaking, community leadership, and other efforts.

Their grantmaking has made a huge difference for the Placer County area, particularly in the months since COVID. They’ve helped fund organizations making a difference in the lives of families and children, including:

  • The Placer Food Bank
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Placer County
  • Kids First
  • Stand Up Placer

The organizations above do important work like fighting human trafficking, providing after-school programs, and feeding families. You can support that mission by contributing to the Placer County community foundation.

Members of non-profit and social activist group, We Are LouderFrom left to right: Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Michelle Ryan (We Are Louder Co-founder), Jamie Way (We Are Louder Co-founder).

Regional - We Are Louder

When Michelle Ryan, GROW’s Director of User Experience, isn’t busy with our team and clients, she is fighting tirelessly to end trafficking with her nonprofit We Are Louder. We Are Louder, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, is an agency of creators and activists for social good. This organization creates a platform for artists, brands, and influencers to partner and fight for initiatives that they care about. These initiatives include efforts to combat child trafficking and aid homeless teens, among others.

Michelle is driven by a passionate belief in using the media’s power to entertain, educate, and influence as a force for good.

“When you become aware of the issues happening in your community, you are empowered by that knowledge. Once you understand the importance of community accountability, the drive to make a difference is imminent. Anything else is acceptance, and acceptance is the epitome of disempowerment. I strive to be like the heroes I work with and never accept the unacceptable.” - Michelle

We Are Louder is currently prepping some exciting new initiatives for 2021 that will involve some major influencers. While they can’t share details yet, stay tuned on the We Are Louder website or follow them on social to learn more.

Portrait of friendly mandated reporter

State-Wide - Improving Child Abuse Reporting in our Home State of CA

GROW is proud to work with The Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP), a department of the California Department of Social Services, to improve the state’s mandated reporter training and certification process. GROW reimagined the entire user experience and designed and developed the Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training platform.

So how does this make an impact? Mandated Reporters are people in professions that work directly with children and families, including teachers, clergy members, first responders, etc. These individuals are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect. A quick and accurate report from such an individual can make a huge impact on a child, and even save a life. Because of this, it’s essential that they receive the best training possible.

We worked with the team at OCAP to develop a new way of thinking about their training platform. This project ultimately resulted in the platform that was designed with the end user as the primary focus. By making this training tool simpler for mandated reporters to navigate and use, it becomes easier for them to know how to accurately and effectively report suspected abuse and neglect.

California standards for reporting are among the most comprehensive in the nation. This has made the training available to reporters here the “gold standard.” GROW is working with other States to improve their mandated reporting training so that mandated reporters across the country can get the best training possible in order to save the lives of children across the U.S.

National - Resources For Mandated Reporters Throughout the U.S.

Fueled by a passion sparked by the project for the California Department of Social Services, GROW continues in our efforts to support mandated reporters not just here in California, but nationwide.

To this end, we’ve created mandatedreporter.com, a comprehensive resource tool for mandated reporters. This site serves as a resource for these individuals and answers questions such as:

  • Are you a mandated reporter?
  • Where can you find training in your area?
  • What happens if you don’t report?
  • Can you report anonymously?
  • and more…

You can learn more about what it means to be a mandated reporter and discover resources on the Mandated Reporter website. Educating yourself on how to watch for and report suspected abuse and neglect is the best way to make sure you’re able to respond promptly should you see a child in danger, and potentially save a life.

Friendly teacher smiles as her enthusiastic class raises their hands

Child Abuse and Trafficking Impact Us All

Child abuse impacts nearly 700,000 children in the United States every year. Even more devastating, babies who are just one year old or younger have the highest rate of victimization. The most horrible consequence of this is, of course, the death of a child. In 2018, an estimated 1,770 children died of abuse or neglect in the United States.

But reporting and raising awareness make a huge difference. In 2018, forty-seven states reported that nearly 2 million children received preventative services.

We’d love to have you join us in this fight. If you’re looking for ways to get started, you can learn more about the organizations and resources above on their websites. Help us raise awareness about the difference mandated reporters can make, and consider donating to We Are Louder or the Placer Community Foundation.

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