MSHF report outlines ways to prevent child maltreatment

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) released a report detailing ways the Mat-Su Valley can keep kids safe and healthy. The new report released Friday focuses on the prevention of child maltreatment and offers 17 recommendations.

"We are really looking at when to make an upstream investment to prevent child maltreatment and build and strengthen families in our community," said Elizabeth Ripley, MSHF CEO.

According to Ripley, there are numerous stakeholders who can improve the lives of Mat-Su kids including organizations, nonprofits, local businesses, churches, the school district and neighbors. The recommendations focus on two parts, building a close-knit community and having the right programs in place.

"That close-knit community involves making sure that all children and families have people around them that are supportive, that they can talk to about their the problems that they are having in parenting or just find out what's out there in the community that they can access," said Melissa Kemberling, director of programs at MSHF.

Access and affordability play a large role, including making sure kids have access to affordable after school and early development programs, according to the MSHF.

The foundation will be offering a discovery grant to encourage organizations and programs to help with the recommendations. People can review the recommendations and then apply for a grant to help improve the Mat-Su.

Applications will be accepted starting on May 27 2017.

For more information visit healthymatsu.org