Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

Joe Page, board president, and Holly Beadle, executive director
Joe Page, board president, and Holly Beadle, executive director

2016 Economic Impact Awards Charitable Nonprofit of the Year: Isabel's House

Posted online
Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

That’s a familiar axiom at Isabel’s House.

When families are at their wit’s end or facing an emergency, the nonprofit that is also known as the crisis nursery of the Ozarks is there for support. The temporary care facility can house 20 children up to age 12 when their families are in need due to homelessness, hospitalization, incarceration, substance abuse or domestic violence.

That equates to around 400 children a year staying in the temporary shelter for an average of 10 days, says Isabel’s House Executive Director Holly Beadle. More than 98 percent of the kids’ families live at or below the federal poverty line.

“Maybe they have a moment where they just need support, and in that moment things could have gone drastically different,” Beadle says of the families Isabel’s House aids. “Prevention is so important, and that’s what we’re all about. We prevent child abuse and neglect and we strengthen families.”

After their kids’ temporary stays, Isabel’s House then works with families to create plans to exit crises, which can include teaching budgeting and parenting skills, connecting people with mental health resources or providing bus passes so parents can find employment. Officials then check in with the families on a regular basis.

“It’s 100 percent voluntary for parents to bring their kiddos to Isabel’s House,” Beadle says. “We meet families where they are.”

Launched in 2007 by Junior League of Springfield and several partners to address the red-flag issue of child abuse and neglect repeatedly identified in the Springfield-Greene County Community Focus Report, Isabel’s House has to date helped more than 1,750 families and claims a 93 percent success rate in keeping them together.

Now functioning with its own board of directors, more than 2,300 children have been assisted.

It’s an important service in Greene County, where nearly seven children out of every 1,000 experience some form of child abuse and neglect, according to Isabel’s House’s website.

The nonprofit’s services also provide an economic boon to the community.

A 2012 study by the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the average lifetime cost of child abuse at $210,012 per victim, comprising $144,360 in productivity losses, $32,648 in childhood health care, $10,530 in adult medical, $7,999 in special education, $7,728 in child welfare and $6,747 in criminal justice costs.

“Compared with other health problems, the burden of child maltreatment is substantial, indicating the importance of prevention efforts to address the high prevalence of child maltreatment,” writers of the study concluded.

Beadle and the staff at Isabel’s House are honed in on preventing that figure from ever happening.

“When you look at the economic impact of child abuse and neglect on our community – what the financial cost is and more importantly the children who grow into adults – that is huge,” she says.


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

A Conversation With … Cheryl Doran

Features Editor Christine Temple interviews the director of interior design at Sapp Design Associates Architects PC.

Most Read