By on May 17, 2024 in Giving

One in ten children will be sexually abused before reaching the age of 18, but working together can make our community a safe place for children. SungateKids is a Yardi-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1993 in Greenwood Village, Colorado, that advocates for children in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties.

SungateKids client

SungateKids mission is to empower children to use their voices, which it believes helps create a world where children are safe and free from abuse. SungateKids provides expert forensic interviewing, victim and family advocacy services, therapeutic support programs and child abuse prevention education. These five programs are provided at no cost to children and families:

  • Forensic Interview Program: SungateKids conducts about 650 interviews per year, each by highly trained, highly skilled interviewers who know how to talk to children in every situation. They also provide a full-time bilingual Forensic Interviewer, and about 20% of all interviews are in Spanish.
  • Family Support Coordination Program: Every family who undergoes a forensic interview receives ongoing support and resources to help them navigate the civil and criminal justice systems and obtain what they need to recover and heal. Families rely on Family Support coordinators for as long as they need because everyone’s healing journey is different.
  • Therapeutic Support Program: On average, therapists assist more than 150 children and caregivers annually with individual counseling and support groups. America is experiencing a mental health crisis, and SungateKids is the only provider in its jurisdiction that offers these specialized services at no charge to children and families.
  • Parent Coaching Program: Parent coaching helps families re-establish the routines of family life that are disrupted when a child is victimized. Parent coaching works in conjunction with therapy to help families heal together.
  • SungateKids SafeKids Child Abuse Prevention Program: Helps to prevent child abuse before it starts by educating over 6,500 students in 57 schools every year on ways to keep themselves safe from physical and sexual abuse.

“At SungateKids, we want to do everything we can to prevent child abuse – and to help those who have already been hurt by it heal, recover, and thrive,” said Diana Goldberg, executive director for SungateKids.

Funding from Yardi helps SungateKids continue its mission to provide free programs for abused children and their families. This allows SungateKids to use expertise to provide highly specialized, research-backed, trauma-informed service to child victims of abuse.

“Our community needs both sides to be successful. We often say that when we hear the pain that children have endured, we see the worst in humanity. But when we work with wonderful people at companies like Yardi, we see the best in humanity, too,” explained Goldberg.

SungateKids will never turn away a child in need of services, but it cannot do this alone and must rely on the support and generosity of its community. The support it has received from Yardi is a shining example of what is possible when we all work together.

“We are deeply grateful for Yardi’s support. Most people assume that the work we do is discouraging and sad—and, of course, the pain and suffering that children endure are. But the light we see in their eyes when we work with them to heal and the sense of possibility for their future when they walk out of our doors—so different from when they came in—infuses our work with hope. Thank you for helping to make hope possible,” expressed Goldberg.

Success Wins

Success at SungateKids takes on many forms. Sometimes, it’s as simple as seeing the weight lifted from a child’s shoulders when they’ve had the chance to talk to a forensic interviewer—being able to speak to someone who knows how to hear them about the trauma they’ve experienced. Sometimes, it’s seeing Family Support coordinators work with families to ensure they have the resources and support they need to help their child heal.

Success also involves watching the transformation from when clients begin a therapeutic support group filled with apprehension and fear to when they finish, surrounded by a support community. The most basic pleasure that many may take for granted is being able to sit down at the dinner table and be able to feel happy and free of trauma.

Lastly, SungateKids’ success is knowing they are educating children and adults with a prevention program that draws on experience and expertise from more than three decades—seeing a child take joy in a restored childhood.

Volunteer Opportunities

Due to the sensitive nature of SungateKids’ work, volunteers are not allowed to work directly with clients. However, there are plenty of other volunteer opportunities.

“Child abuse can seem like an insurmountable problem, but it’s not if we all work together,” said Goldberg.

She continued, “We can stop abuse before it happens, and we can help those who have already been hurt to heal, recover and thrive. We’re always happy to talk and always glad for an opportunity to personally thank Yardi employees for their wonderful, kind, and generous support!”

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