Olive Crest has made it their priority to prevent child abuse while treating and educating at-risk youth. This non-profit organization provides a variety of services to protect neglected children, and has been doing so for over forty years, including adoption placement and support, educational support and services, independent life skills training, counseling, mental health treatment, and family crisis intervention.
An estimated 3,000 children and families in need are served with the help of donors within the community. The Development Manager for the Coachella Valley Olive Crest, Angela Allen, works to engage in these desert community relations.
“My role is to develop relationships with members of our community who care passionately about preventing child abuse, then to inform and engage them in whatever way that they may want to be connected to this work,” Allen said.
Olive Crest receives most referrals from Riverside County Department of Social Services. Once a child has been identified by the County Social Worker as at-risk or abused, depending on the age and the individual circumstance, the most appropriate program is determined by the Case Worker and Olive Crest staff.
The Riverside County relies on Olive Crest as the resource of choice to assist them in providing these services, whether it be family preservation or placement in the foster care system. Olive Crest is involved in two annual fundraisers in the Coachella Valley during the spring and winter, with the next event being “Desert Comedy Night” on April 4 at the Hotel Paseo in Palm Desert.
According to Allen, there were 9,972 calls to Child Protective Services in the Coachella Valley last year. Of that number, only 869 actually received any help or services. Olive Crest’s vision is to expand services into prevention and after-care for children and families in the desert and all of Riverside County.
“In order to accomplish this we will need additional private funding, as well as the participation of the faith and business communities. The documented statistics demonstrate that the outcome of doing nothing different will result in more and more children entering the ranks of the homeless, jobless population, trafficking, substance abuse and the criminal justice system,” Allen said.
Allen strives to bring more awareness to the organization because preventing child abuse and strengthening broken families cannot be done by the government alone.
“Child Abuse stops here. Being involved in the healing transformation of families and children gets my heart pumping every day; breaking the cycle of child abuse that has been often times generational,” Allen said. “It will take the whole community in partnership with Olive Crest to accomplish a ‘sea change’ in our current cultural mindset of thinking… and can solve a deep societal problem.”
To learn more about the Olive Crest foundation, visit olivecrest.org and its other social media platforms on Facebook and YouTube.