The West Virginia Children’s Trust Fund works to ensure the optimal healthy development of children throughout the state. We support innovative initiatives that prevent child abuse and neglect from ever occurring and are committed to serving every community in West Virginia. We also believe that child development is an essential building block for community and economic development.
History of the West Virginia Children’s Trust Fund
The Children’s Trust Fund was established in 1984 when state Children’s Trust Funds were created in states across the country. It was established in legislation, and a Commission on Children, Youth, and Families was established within the WV Department of Health and Resources to administer the Trust Fund. Some mini-grants were given out, but the fund was not highly publicized. Originally, only the interest was to be used until the principle grew to one million dollars.
Operations for the Children’s Trust Fund were transferred to the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families when it was established in 1989 and were transitioned back to the Bureau for Children and Families when the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families was disbanded in 2007. The Bureau for Children and Families works in a public-private partnership with TEAM for West Virginia Children to encourage donations to the Children’s Trust Fund as well as overseeing implementation of local Partners in Prevention grant projects.
How the Children’s Trust Fund Works
Any person can designate on their tax form that a portion of their refund be donated to the Children’s Trust Fund or include a contribution with their tax payment. Donations can also be made online or sent directly to the Children’s Trust Fund.
The voluntary income tax check-off for the Children’s Trust Fund was the second on the state income tax form after wildlife and remains the largest source of individual donations to the Children’s Trust Fund. Each year, over 10,000 taxpayers donate a portion of their state income tax return to support local projects that prevent child abuse and neglect. Contributions in recent years have been about $130,000 per year. The Children’s Trust Fund also leverages federal funds through the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program.
For the past 12 years, the Children’s Trust Fund has had annual Tax Campaigns to increase awareness and contributions for the Children’s Trust Fund, which have more than doubled the number of people contributing and total donations to the Children’s Trust Fund. The increased support has helped greatly expand the number of local projects funded across the state.
How the Children’s Trust Fund is Used
With additional funding support via TEAM for West Virginia Children, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and other donors, the Children’s Trust Fund currently supports 44 Partners in Prevention community teams across the state. Funds also support Circle of Parents mutual support groups and infant safety programs through the Our Babies: Safe & Sound Campaign.
The goals of the Children’s Trust Fund are to support community efforts to: (1) increase public engagement in preventing child abuse and neglect, and (2) developing and expanding effective services that prevent or reduce child maltreatment in West Virginia.