Last year, the Catalyst Endowment Fund awarded a grant to Hartford Interval House to expand two programs that help both mothers and children dealing with the long-term effects of domestic violence. In collaboration with the Injury Prevention Center of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Interval House evaluated and enhanced both its Moms’ Club and Kids’ Club programs. Through Kid’s Club, children learn conflict resolution, share experiences and build new coping skills. Moms’ Club helps mothers to restore the mother/child relationship and uses curriculum-based support groups to teach strategies for parenting under stress and communicating about family violence. The grant also supported follow-up case management and an evaluation.
Through the evaluation process, the staff at the Injury Prevention Center identified extensive behavioral health needs caused by the trauma of family violence, many of which could not be met through current group activities alone. While domestic violence shelters provide much-needed crisis interventions, they are not able provide direct behavioral health care or referrals to care for these distressed women and children.
It was this insight and need that led the Catalyst Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to award a $50,000 grant to the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to address the mental health consequences of exposure to trauma. This grant will enable the Injury Prevention Center to bring on-site, one-on-one behavioral health care to women and children living at Hartford Interval House. The new on-site services – the first its kind in Connecticut – will respect how different cultures view mental health, and will actively connect individuals to other community-based services.
“Last year, Catalyst was pleased to make a grant to Hartford Interval House to assist women and children in the aftermath of domestic violence”, said Kathleen Costello, chair of the Catalyst Endowment Fund steering committee. “This year’s grant to the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center will help ensure that women and children impacted by domestic violence are provided with on-site mental health assessments and linked to community-based services if necessary.”
The Injury Prevention Center will design a new program to more effectively align the region’s child welfare, behavioral health, and domestic violence advocacy systems and offer on-site behavioral health services to women and children living at Interval House free of charge by working within families’ existing insurance policies. Offering on-site behavioral health services to residents of domestic violence agencies is not currently offered in the state of Connecticut. The Center will partner with a behavioral health provider to train shelter staff on the new model. The Center will also collect data to identify needs and barriers to service, engaging key stakeholders from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and the health care arena to develop strategies that address these barriers and to facilitate to needed services.
Each year, Catalyst Endowment Fund members choose a topic affecting the community and invite local experts to educate Fund members. Area nonprofits are then invited to submit grant proposals that address the topic, and members of the giving circle analyze the proposals and award grants over the course of a year.
Since the Catalyst Endowment Fund was established 24 years ago, grants totaling more than $850,000 have been awarded in support of nonprofit programs in areas such as health, housing and education. The Hartford Foundation pools and invests donations from members to fund grants based on program areas selected by the membership. Funds like Catalyst, also known as ‘giving circles,’ provide individuals with an opportunity to be involved with philanthropy while providing greater impact through the pooled contributions. For more information on the Catalyst Endowment Fund, contact Betty Ann Grady at email@example.com or 860-548-1888 x1055.