DePelchin Children’s Center will expand the reach and impact of its services for children and families with a $5.9 million gift from Project Shine, Inc., a nonprofit organization supported by Houston philanthropists Lara and Bill Perkins.
The gift, to be distributed over two years, is one of the most significant in the 131-year history of DePelchin, which works to support and sustain children and the families who care for them.
“In partnership with DePelchin Children’s Center, we seamlessly blend heartfelt compassion with data-driven outcomes,” Lara and Bill Perkins said. “By aligning our charitable efforts with tangible results, we guarantee that our donation catalyzes enduring improvements in the lives of children.”
The gift from Project Shine will impact five focus areas:
- Decreasing the time families wait to receive DePelchin’s free counseling programs. DePelchin will enhance its intake, assessment, and crisis response teams. DePelchin also will be hiring more clinical staff to increase the number of families who can access services.
- Establishing an innovative and unique partnership with the Harris County Child Protective Investigation team. DePelchin’s “Together and Safe” team will partner with local investigative units in cases where there is a high risk to children to provide ongoing support to families experiencing child maltreatment immediately before, and for several months after, an investigation is closed. Additionally, the team will be tracking long-term outcomes to measure efficacy and scalability.
- Investing in outreach and training support that is necessary to increase the number of families who can serve foster youth who are older, have higher clinical needs, are part of large sibling groups, or are living with relatives.
- Enhancing the quality and scope of DePelchin’s residential programs that serve youth who cannot safely reside in a foster home or with relatives, youth in foster care who are pregnant and/or parenting, older youth in foster care who are preparing to “age out,” and young adults who recently “aged out” of foster care and are learning to live independently.
- Expanding the work of DePelchin’s Data, Analytics, and Program Evaluation team. Lara and Bill’s generous gift also includes the funds necessary to advance DePelchin’s use of data to drive strategic decision-making, assess the impact of the above focus areas, and explore the utilization of advanced analytics and machine learning to improve service delivery and program evaluation.
“The overarching principle of every program we provide is to create safe, loving homes as well as opportunities for children and families to heal, grow and thrive,” said DePelchin President and CEO Jenifer Jarriel. “This incredible gift will enable us to reach more families with existing services while also creating new ways for us to serve vulnerable populations. We are profoundly grateful for the generosity of Project Shine and Lara and Bill Perkins.”