Invest in Kids

At a Glance

National Office: 
1775 Sherman Street Suite 2075
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-839-1808

Lisa Merlino
People Served: 
14,000
Tax ID: 
84-1455282

Focus area(s):

Early Education
Teacher & Principal Training
Health Services/Access
Maternal & Child Health
Health Services
Mental Health

Description

For 17 years, it has been the mission of Invest in Kids to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable children and families throughout Colorado. Working in partnership with local communities, they identify, introduce, implement and ensure the success of evidence-based programs. Currently, Invest in Kids supports the implementation of Nurse-Family Partnership® and The Incredible Years® both of which are proven prevention solutions in the effort to help struggling families in Colorado to thrive. Combined, these two programs are serving more than 12,000 children and families across all 64 counties in Colorado.

Impact and Outcomes

NFP - 21% reduction in smoking and 30% reduction in alcohol use during pregnancy
NFP - 92% of mothers initiate breastfeeding, 91% of children were fully immunized by age two and 96% of children had a developmental screening at 4 months and 10 months of age
IY – Statistically significant gains on all measures of social competence (emotion regulation, prosocial communication and academic behavior skills) as measured by the Social Competence Scale
IY – Statistically significant gains on all measures of positive parenting practices (appropriate discipline, clear expectations, monitoring, positive verbal discipline and praise and incentives) and decreases in negative practices (harsh and inconsistent discipline and physical punishment)

Mission & Goals

Invest in Kids, gets the most vulnerable children off to the best possible start.  They are putting research to work to help ensure that every day, more and more low-income, at-risk Colorado children and their families are given the opportunities and support they deserve.  Invest in Kids brings research-based, proven programs into communities across the state and collaborate with local stakeholders to ensure their ongoing success. 

Program

Invest in Kid's unique approach is what separates the work they do from others trying to achieve similar outcomes:

First, they identify programs with proven track records or methodologies for success. Second, they introduce these programs to Colorado communities and constituencies to see where and how they can net the greatest impact. Third, they implement the programs through agency partners, in collaboration with community leaders and other key constituents. Fourth, they ensure each program’s ongoing success through strict adherence to guidelines and measurement of results. Finally, they work with key partners and supporters to ensure long-term program sustainability. 
 
Invest in Kids’ current programs, Nurse-Family Partnership® and The Incredible Years, are evidence-based prevention programs with proven outcomes for young children and their families. By focusing their efforts on at-risk families, Invest in Kids helps give every child a chance to succeed. In their role as intermediary between research and direct service, Invest in Kids functions as advocate, collaborator, initiator, facilitator, and sustainer, strengthening Colorado families through the individual lives of each child. Each program has been recognized by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence for its high level of effectiveness, recognition that is provided to only 11 of over 600 programs reviewed nationwide. Only those that can demonstrate the highest level of standards and greatest promise for impact become part of their mission.
 
Nurse Family Partnership
 
For a vulnerable young woman who is not prepared to care for a child, a new baby can mean the continuation of the cycle of poverty, conflict, and despair. The Nurse-Family Partnership® solution is to provide low-income, first-time expectant mothers with a trained nurse who makes regular home visits during the pregnancy and until the second birthday of the Child.  Nurse-Family Partnership® is the only home visitation program in the country with over 30 years of clinical trials. These trials prove that Nurse-Family Partnership® produces long-term changes in the lives of both mother and child. Invest in Kids worked closely with the program founder, Dr. David Olds, and led the effort to secure initial funding to begin operating the program across Colorado.  They now lead the ongoing effort to support the program’s growth and development, acting as advocate for funding and expansion and consultant for continuing education and collaboration with program nurses.
 
The Incredible Years
 
The Incredible Years is a research-based program made up of three distinct units that work together to achieve proven outcomes for children, their teachers and their parents:
 
  • The Parenting Education is delivered through a series of 14 weekly parent group meetings. Trained co-leaders guide the group of 10-14 parents as they learn strategies for playing with and praising their children. Effective limit setting and how to partner with teachers in their children’s education are among other strategies and skills utilized.
  •  Dinosaur School includes 60 different lessons which are delivered two to three times per week in pre-school or kindergarten classrooms. Trained teachers co-lead the lessons using life-size puppets, engaging activities, games, and video vignettes. The lessons focus on how to solve problems, control one’s anger, self-monitor one’s emotions, succeed in school, and make friends.
  •  In the Teacher Education portion of the program, teachers learn positive teaching strategies (focusing on what children are doing well), how to connect to children with challenging behaviors, and how to help those children control their behaviors, among many other skills and strategies.

Impact

Invest in Kids bridges the gap between research and practice, allowing communities to provide services with proven effectiveness.  In order to successfully bridge that gap, it must be shown that locally implemented programs achieve results similar to those produced in the research.  To that end, IIK rigorously evaluates all programs and their role in implementing those programs.  Each of their programs is independently evaluated to ensure objective results. IIK also evaluates its own role in the implementation process and the degree to which they assure program fidelity and sustainability.  Success is defined in terms of IIK’s ability to help implementing agencies reach the program outcomes that have been demonstrated through research, and through the level of community involvement and support of the program.

In addition to their programs' effectiveness, their unique approach has been validated by two independent studies conducted by researchers at the University of Denver. In these studies, researchers confirmed the importance of IIK's intermediary role in program implementation, specifically our community-building process, training, and ongoing coaching. The communities with the greatest community buy-in and early collaboration have the best program outcomes. Additional research shows that IIK's presence increases community collaboration and the quality of community decision-making. In September 2011, IIK was awarded the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Science and Service Award for its replication of IY.  Invest in Kids was one of only 11 organizations in the country to receive this distinction and the only organization in the category of Mental Health Promotion. 

Growth Plan

Invest in Kids Business Plan Summary
Since 1999 Invest in Kids' (IIK) mission has been to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable young children and families throughout Colorado. Working in partnership with local communities, we identify, introduce, implement and ensure the success of research-based, proven programs. IIK currently implements Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and The Incredible Years (IY) across the state.
We are currently focused on the following strategic priorities:

  • maintain community engagement and assure program fidelity in communities where our programs are already located
  • expand programs to partners that are ready, and engage new communities to prepare potential future partners
  • continue to monitor and improve IIK's internal systems
  • continue to maintain a presence in and up-to-date knowledge of the growing field of evidence-based program implementation and scaling
  • continue to explore local capacity-building and sustainability planning
  • leverage new resources including an online evaluation system, a new independent evaluator, Tony Grampsas Youth services funding and the Peer Coach model with a focus on long-term sustainability

NFP is implemented throughout the year and tracks and reports data quarterly at each site. A statewide report is available following each fiscal year. During the 2012-13 program year, IIK will specifically work to:

  • provide structured and consistent coaching and consultation to nurses in the field (evidence: regional, quarterly supervisor meetings, monthly calls and on-site visits)
  • provide a state meeting for all NFP nurses in the fall of 2012 (evidence: meeting details and agenda)
  • support and facilitate a wide variety of approaches to maintaining community involvement long-term (evidence: engaged coalitions and community supporters throughout the state)
  • meet with all new legislators and those who are assigned to key committees prior to the 2013 legislative session
  • maintain current funding level for local site implementation from General Assembly (evidence: budget adoption)
  • work to ensure successful delivery of NFP services to over 3,000 women annually in Colorado (evidence: annual report)

IY is implemented during the school year we are currently collecting all IY pre-test data for the current year using our online database. This information will be available in November 2012. The classroom portion of the IY program measures data pre-test and post-test after each child receives the program for a full school year. Therefore, post-test data will be collected in the spring, analyzed by an independent evaluator in the summer, and will be made available in August 2013. During this year, IIK will specifically:

    build capacity at the local level to sustain the program long-term and embed program expertise within local communities, allowing for program growth and expansion into additional new communities (evidence: annual report outcomes 2013)
    have our IY Consultants complete seven classroom visits with every new teacher (during the school year) and three visits with every new parent group leader (during his/her first 14 week group) (evidence: site visit reports)
    ensure 60% of classrooms and parent groups with which we work will be implementing IY with fidelity to the proven research model (evidence: annual outcomes report 2013)
    work to ensure over 6,200 children and 350 parents are benefitting from IY in the state of Colorado annually

 

Location of Sites

National Office: 
1775 Sherman Street Suite 2075
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-839-1808
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$35,000
Foundation Grants: 
$842,867
Government Funding: 
$554,750
Contributions from Individuals: 
$200,000
Special Events: 
$380,000
Program Services Fees: 
$15,000
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$4,400
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$2,032,017

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$1,622,300
Occupancy: 
$93,465
Travel & Entertainment: 
$54,000
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$38,715
Telephone & Communications: 
$31,200
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$487,035
Other Expenses (Description): 

Program materials, evaluations,  trainings, special events, advocacy, software/licenses, fees depreciation, other.

Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$2,326,715

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$-294,698

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2015

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$43,600
Foundation Grants: 
$1,364,613
Government Funding: 
$628,087
Contributions from Individuals: 
$105,423
Program Services Fees: 
$15,000
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$7,692
Other Revenue: 
$0
Special Events: 
$333,169
Total Revenue: 
$2,497,584

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$1,525,385
Occupancy: 
$95,313
Travel & Entertainment: 
$68,771
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$37,302
Telephone & Communication: 
$29,742
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$527,617
Other Expenses (Description): 

Program materials, evaluations, trainings, special events, advocacy, software/licenses, fees/depreciation.

Total Expenses: 
$2,284,130

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$213,454

Major Funders

Anschutz Foundation

B&H Way Foundation

Ben and Lucy Ana Fund at the Walton Family Foundation

Buell Foundation

Caring for Colorado Foundation

Colorado Health Foundation

Community First Foundation

Daniels Fund

Fox Family Foundation

Gary Community Investments (Piton Foundation)

HBB Foundation

Hemera Foundation

J&R Phillips Family Foundation

Larkk Foundation

Liberty Gives Foundation

Mile High United Way

Oscar Mayer Foundation

Packard Foundation

Rose Community Foundation

Sprout Foundation

Younggren Family Fund