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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Foster Care, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health

Mission: Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on advocacy, prevention, treatment and community outreach.

Programs: Residential - the childhelp merv griffin village in beaumont, california, and the childhelp alice c. Tyler village in lignum, virginia are childhelp's long-term residential treatment facilities. These facilities house child victims of severe neglect and abuse who require special attention with regard to behavioral and emotional well-being. Combined, the two villages housed an estimated 270 children and provided over 9,000 services last year. These villages are located in rural settings allowing the program to utilize treatment such as animal assisted therapy, art therapy and organized wilderness activities (over 300 recreational therapeutic activities). Other childhelp residential facilities include group homes in california.

advocacy/diagnostic - childhelp provides advocacy and education for issues of child abuse, neglect and at-risk children and youth. Childhelp's advocacy programs include child advocacy centers, which provide a one-stop location for integrated services from law enforcement, county social service agencies, pediatricians and trauma-focused mental health therapists. Childhelp has advocacy centers in arizona, colorado, tennessee and virginia and a mobile advocacy unit in northern arizona. In fiscal year 2014, these advocacy centers provided services to over 9,000 children and worked on more than 3,000 new cases of suspected child abuse. Education services include childhelp's public awareness and education initiatives such as the childhelp's speak up be safe(r) virtual learning portal for personal body safety program reaching children in 40 states and 10 countries and reaching at least 50,000 children. Childhelp outreach and awareness facilities include childhelp community center in avondale, arizona, which served more than 1,100 children and adults in the fiscal year ended in 2014. Additonally the merv griffin village in beaumont, california, provided non public school education to over 300 children, and alice c tyler village in lignum, virginia, provided non public school education to over 300 children.

education - the childhelp non-public schools (nps) of merv griffin village in beaumont, california and the alice c. Tyler village in lignum, virginia cater to children who require a therapeutic environment as a component of their elementary or secondary education. The non-public schools serve students with extreme emotional disturbances that cannot be accommodated in a public school. The non-public schools provide high quality supervision, structure and individual programming designed to transition the child to a functional level in society. The two schools served approximately 850 students in the fiscal year ended in 2014 with a combined capacity of more than 180 students.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Childhelp is a scam. Employees are paid extremely low wages, centers don't have any funding, and "The Ladies" are pure scam artists, making outrageous salaries, they loan money to the non profit at large payoffs, and the whole place is a shabby, unfunded nightmare. Kids deserve better than this terribly run scam.

1 Janet59

Board Member

Rating: 5

After working with this organization, I have nothing but praise to give regarding the work they do in AZ and California for children and families impacted by child abuse.
I am honored to be a member of the AZ Advisory Board, and to participate in the future work underway for AZ children. This organization and the founders are changing the course of lives through the programs they created in prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse.

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a huge advocate for the Childhelp organization. I have had the opportunity to get to know several key people in the organization, and I have witnessed the love and dedication that they have for helping children. I sent the Merv Griffin Village a large box of new clothing for the children, and I not only received a personalized letter of appreciation from the founders, but they also left a voice message on my cell phone thanking me for my donation. I have never received such a sincere gesture of gratitude from any other organization, but it wasn't the gratitude of thanks that made Childhelp my first choice charity to support. It's what they have actually done to prove their words and commitment to treating and preventing child abuse. You don't receive a Nobel Peace nomination for overpaying your organization's leaders as one reviewer claimed, and if you receive five consecutive nominations, you must be doing something pretty damn amazing! I will continue to support Childhelp, because I trust the leadership and direction of the organization as long as Sara & Yvonne are involved.  The organization's motto, "For the love of a child", says it all.  Those words are the reason for Childhelp's actions and existence, and there is no one who can honestly deny that as the truth.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been an employee of the organization for more than 3 years, and have seen how this organization has truly shaped itself into a life changing and life saving organization for a child in need. Just recently the State of Arizona reached out to Childhelp to ask for the organizations help in caring for children that have been separated from their homes pending the start of an investigation and were sleeping in police vehicles and offices. Childhelp immediately sprang to action, working with the highest levels of government and philanthropic minded community citizens and partners, and created an immediate safe haven for the emergency placement of children. This is what Childhelp does - it takes action where children are in need. With less than 10% of donations going to administrative fees, this organization truly leverages the treasures of its donors to save and positively impact the lives of children in need. I am proud to be associated with this organization, and love knowing that I am surrounded by people in my community that really want to make a true difference in the life of a child.

Review from Guidestar

2 Daphne Y.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My favorite part about working for Childhelp is meeting the children who are being impacted by our amazing programs and services. From adult survivors to little lives at Childhelp villages and advocacy centers, watching a child that has been abused suddenly come back to life is a beautiful thing. I work with the Childhelp Founders every day and feel their passion for the mission in all they do. The team is engaged, the plan for the future is strongly routed in prevention education and there is a dream of eradicating child abuse to create safer communities nationwide.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Over two years now, and no IRS990 form? What is Childhelp hiding? This place has "scam" written all over it. Why no IRS sanctions against these people?

Review from Guidestar

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Childhelp is a very lucrative venture for the two founders; two old lady movie stars from the 50's. Together that take a huge salary from the business as do most of the leadership team. They travel around the country first-class on the dime of those that make donations. However, most of revenue comes from the government in the form of medicaid, grants etc.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Alice C. Tyler Village and Merv Griffin Village are being utilized by this national organization to siphon Medicaid and fund ancillary projects in support of abused and neglected children. The company does not invest enough in the villages, the programs, or in professional development of it's staff. As a result, services are mediocre or poor and treatment, as well as education, suffers. Childhelp is gilded, at best. Great name recognition, but much shinier on the outside than within. They are perpetually in trouble with licensing, and more interested in appearances than actual services. Be wary. The only reason they have not been closed the villages at various times in the past couple of years, is because social services has nowhere to house these children. One advantage of serving severely abused and neglected populations is that licensing is not going to hold the organization as accountable as it should be held for fear that there is, literally, nowhere else for these children to go. Truly a sad state of affairs: poorly managed, understaffed, and under trained. Childhelp is a train wreck waiting to derail, with a lack of accountability. Yvonne and Sara are amazing, and deserve to see their legacy better managed.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I cannot say that I know the organization personally, but in doing some research on them, I read their recently posted 990 (for fiscal year ending June30, 2011) and it does indeed state, in their own words and as a matter of public record, that the top executive leadership makes very high salaries, they closed at least two group homes in the Arizona area, at least two staff were no longer working there as of mid-2011 (though reasons are not stated) and at least one was given a six-figure severance package, and they are in considerable debt, ending the year with a negative balance. The 990 shows a huge sum spent on lobbying and more than $150,000 spent on conferences and the like. The charity rating sites reveal that in 2003 and earlier, they were a four star organization and have been considerably unsteady since then, although recent years show a bit of an improvement. Although their website states that they started as an internationally focused organization, their most recent audit report (on their website) states that entity is dormant. In 1995 the organization entered into an agreement with a non-related entity to own and operate a general office building in Scottsdale, Arizona, and put $393,000 into said property. It is unclear what financial benefit this arrangement is having in terms of furthering the mission of the organization. As of June 30, 2011, they owed $2.4 million on a $3 million dollar line of credit. Their audit report shows a variety of notes payable (debt) totalling more than $9 million. Per the audit report, last year, Childhelp did not generate enough revenue to run their basic operations and had to dip into restricted assets in their small endowment resources to pay for basic operating costs, nor were they able to make any matching contributions to their employees' defined contribution plans for at least the past two years. Note #14 of the audit report indicates considerable conflict of interest issues with board members benefiting financially from agency services. Reviewers are referred specifically to Notes 16 and 17 of the audit report that speak to significant financial challenges and the need for major restructuring, with a specific statement that the organization has enough resources to service obligations through Feb 2013 (2 months away!). I don't know if the reviewer below is "disgruntled" or not, but the evidence on the agency's own website suggests the reviewer below may be shedding a little inside light on a very difficult situation and donors should require the organization to demonstrate it's improvement plan prior to sinking much more money into this organization. This company does indeed appear to be having more than a little difficulty managing its finances. I have worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years and support a number of charities. My own organization climbed out of a terrible fiscal hole a few years ago so I know of what I speak. Children and child abuse prevention are near and dear to my heart, but ChildHelp, Inc. appears to need a major course correction starting at the top.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I saw the posting dated October 31st, and this sounds very much like one person's opinion--possibly a disgruntled former employee. I have supported this organization for a long time, and I know firsthand how Childhelp supports 250,000 children a year and been in business for over 50 years. I also know that all charities have been hit hard due to the recession, and I commend the great work of this organization for what they do in addressing a very difficult issue - child abuse.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Childhelp is nearly broke, and it is because of the greed of its management. People are being laid off, programs are being shut down, and services are not being given, but the top people in the company are still making out like bandits with huge salaries, great perks, and god only knows what else. There are better places to donate to that take care of children, this organization has killed itself with terrible management and pure greed putting money in the pockets of the top two, and taking it from those who need it.