Child Well-Being

Accessibility Options

Preventing child maltreatment and building healthier families through mental health and trauma-responsive services.

Content Warning: Abuse and neglect.

All children in Champaign County deserve to grow up in a supportive, loving home. This is critical if we wish for every child to achieve their full potential. The dual risks of child abuse and neglect and mental health issues threaten the well-being of children and can have significant negative long-term impacts.

Childhood Abuse and Neglect and other Adverse Childhood Experiences may cause high levels of chronic stress (i.e., toxic stress) that rewires the brain’s developing architecture (i.e., connections between cognitive, emotional, and social development). As a result, children who experience CAN and other ACEs are more likely to engage in risky behaviors in adolescence and have health problems as adults. These problems include alcohol abuse, depression, drug abuse (including opioids), eating disorders, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, suicide, violence towards others, and many chronic diseases.

- Centers for Disease Control, Division of Violence Prevention

Building Stronger Families

Child abuse and neglect is preventable. The United States Department of Health and Human Services defines six protective factors which lower the risk of child abuse and neglect:

  1. Nurturing and attachment
  2. Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  3. Parental resilience
  4. Social connections
  5. Concrete supports for parents
  6. Social and emotional competence of children

United Way of Champaign County's Child Well-Being grants will strengthen these protective factors. It will take all of us, United, to build stronger families and reduce the risk of abuse and neglect in our community.

Research shows that parents and caregivers who have support—from family, friends, neighbors, and their communities—are more likely to provide safe and healthy homes for their children. When parents lack this support or feel isolated, they may be more likely to make poor decisions that can lead to neglect or abuse.

-United States Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau

Community Concern

United Way of Champaign County's Community Survey found Child Abuse and Neglect to be the top reported community issue overall. Mental health ranked third.

The Champaign Community Health Plan found Child Abuse and Neglect to be the second highest community concern. Mental Health was the top concern.

Rate of Local Children Experiencing Abuse and Neglect

The table below shows the number of indicated victims of abuse and neglect in Champaign County. "Indicated" means that credible evidence was found to substantiate a claim of abuse and neglect.


Year Number Rate Statewide Average
2019 331 24.6/1000 19.1/1000
2020 426 31.6/1000 20.7/1000

Local Children in Substitute Care

510 Champaign County children are currently in Substitute care. 

"Substitute care" means the care of children who require placement away from their families or private guardians. Substitute care includes foster family care, care provided in a relative home placement as defined in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 301 (Placement and Visitation Services), Section 301.80 (Relative Home Placement), care provided in a group home, care provided in a maternity center or a child care, mental health or other institution, and care provided in an independent living arrangement. (Illinois Department of Children and Family Services)

This data is as of August 31, 2021 (Source)

Foster Care Relative Institutional or Group Home Other
255 202 23 30

Recurring Maltreatment

Of all children who were victims of a substantiated maltreatment report during the fiscal year, this chart shows the percentage that were victims of another substantiated maltreatment report within 12 months.


Year Children with Substantiated Report Children with another Substantiated Report within 12 months Rate
2016 519 43 8.3%
2017 578 58 10%
2018 623 76 12.2%
2019 589 81 13.8%

Maltreatment of Children in Substitute Care

In 2020, there were 37 substantiated reports of maltreatment of children in Substitute Care. This number has doubled since 2018. (source). This is also significantly higher than the statewide rate.


Mental Health

Behavioral Health issues continue to be an issue across the county. Lack of resources, funding, and stigma contribute to the issue. 

Contributing Factors to Mental Health Issues

  • PTSD 
  • Physical/Verbal Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Substance Abuse
  • Language Barriers
  • Trauma 
  • Poor Medicaid Reimbursement 
  • Lack of Social Support

Barriers to Mental Health Care in Champaign County

  • Lack of funding
  • Lack of support system
  • Availability and access to counseling and screening programs 
  • Lack of Providers who take Medicaid
  • Participant Follow-up 

Request for Proposals

United Way of Champaign County announces a Request for Proposals from local programs which aim to improve the organization's Child Well-Being Goals. The anticipated grant award range is $10,000 to $150,000. A grant pool of approximately $350,000 is available.

In addition to the stated goals, the program will need to demonstrate a willingness to build partnerships, promote parent involvement in organizational decision making, and share how the organization's services contribute to reducing racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic disparities in mental and behavioral healthcare.


United Way's Child Well-Being Goals

  • Fewer children ages 0-5 will experience maltreatment
  • Children 0-18 in substitute care will not experience additional or repeated maltreatment
  • Parents & caregivers in zip codes 61821 and 61802 will have increased access to supports that reduce stress and the risk of child maltreatment
  • The community will have increased capacity to address the needs of children and adults who have experienced trauma
  • Children and adults who have experienced trauma will have increased support available

Programs submitting an RFP Application must select at least one Goal, and measure at least one Indicator and two outputs underneath that Goal. Find the Indicators here.

If awarded a grant, programs must participate in regular Child Well-Being community meetings with other grant recipients.


  • Applying organizations must serve residents of Champaign County, Illinois, and demonstrate their program will advance one or more of United Way's Child Well-Being Goals
  • The organization must have bylaws that state: the purpose of the organization, provide for the size of the Board of Directors and rules for selection, tenure, number of officers and committees; financial and legal procedures, conflicts of interests, quorum requirements, and active engagement in an advisory, governance and/or fiscal oversight of the organization
  • Agency/Program has policies and procedures on non-discrimination in employment and provision of service
  • The organization has the mechanisms and capacity for regularly reporting measurable, qualitative, and quantitative outcomes
  • Agency incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the applicable laws of the State where it has its principal place of business
  • Organization is a human service agency or tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code or has another tax-exempt organization act as a fiscal sponsor
  • If the organization has a faith-based mission, religious participation cannot be required for the provision of services
  • The RFP cannot sponsor, promote, or otherwise engage in the advancement of religion
  • RFP funds cannot be used for one-time events, personal scholarships, or conferences

Important Dates

October 4, 2021
Request for Proposals opens.

October 5 and October 12, 2021, 9AM
Informational Sessions.

Click to register for October 5.

Click to register for October 12.

October 25, 2021, noon
RFP Closes.

October - November
United Way's Community Impact Committee, Community Solutions Team, and Board of Directors review the RFP applications.

December 3, 2021
Applicants are notified of acceptance or decline. Those awarded grants will be provided with contracts.

January 1, 2022
Funds are distributed to grantees.


Contact and Questions

For questions about grant goals, eligibility, metrics, and outcomes, contact:
Beverley Baker, Chief Impact Officer

Email Beverley

For questions about the online application portal, please contact:
Carolyn Butterfield, Manager of Community Impact Data & Operations

Email Carolyn