April Leading Ladies NKY Non-Profit Spotlight:  Family Nurturing Center – Ending the Cycle of Child Abuse – Jane Herms, President/CEO

Mission: To end the cycle of child abuse by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships.

When did the organization start and by whom? Family Nurturing Center began in 1979 when a group of concerned citizens came together to address the rate of child abuse in the community. Initial work to form the agency began in the 1970’s when a group of concerned citizens, including Kathy Collins, Mike Farrell and Cathy Kunkel Mains,  recognized the magnitude of the problem of child abuse and developed support groups and a 24hour hotline as a resource to local parents. This grassroots effort grew in both scope and impact as services were added based on community needs. Gradually, the agency changed from a largely volunteer effort to a professionally staffed organization with an expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Recognized as a leader in the field, the agency now serves more than 10,000 individuals each  year. With locations in both KY and OH, FNC offers a range of free, trauma informed services to meet the needs of children and families, including individual, family and group counseling services for victims of abuse and their non-offending family members; holistic and wellness services to support evidence based interventions, family- based parenting classes and individual parent coaching sessions; school-based child abuse prevention services; adult based child sexual abuse education and prevention; facilitated visitation services; and, community education and training.

What makes your organization stand out among others? NKY and Greater Cincinnati are fortunate to have a number of great resources in the community and well-run nonprofits to support the region.  Family Nurturing Center is uniquely qualified to address the issue of child abuse and traumatic childhood experiences and has extensive experience serving children who have been victims of physical and sexual abuse; domestic violence; and other violent crimes.  Last year alone, FNC programs and outreach activities served nearly 10,000 people.  Since its 1979 founding, FNC has been at the forefront of providing high quality, innovative and effective child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs.

We use a Trauma Informed Approach as a treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. All Family Nurturing Center employees including clinical, administrative and support staff are trained on trauma informed care. We recognize the impact that trauma can have on an individual, a family and even a community.  Trauma Informed Care is more than the latest buzz word; it’s a paradigm  shift that at its most basic level moves us from asking  ‘what’s  wrong  with  you’  to  ‘what’s  happened to you, and what did you do to survive’. More than a change in language, it’s a change in attitude that engages clients as partners in their healing.

Family Nurturing Center is one of the only free counseling services in the region – we do not charge co-pays or operate on a sliding scale.  We do not bill insurance or Medicaid.  Keeping our services free means that money is never a barrier to accessing quality mental health services.    The addition of wellness services is another distinguishing factor.  Besides evidence based therapies, we offer trauma sensitive yoga, tai chi and expressive therapies to help people heal from trauma and live their best lives.

Our specialization is also unique. Much like a cancer patient would go to an Oncologist rather than a General Practitioner for care, individuals with complex trauma need specialized services, and Family Nurturing Center has invested time and resources in having our staff trained in evidence based models proven effective with people who have  experienced  childhood trauma.

Our range of services also makes Family Nurturing Center stand out.  While families may come to us for counseling, they can also participate in our free parenting services, or take advantage of our wellness programs. We also maintain strong partnerships with other resources, and our free case management can help connect families with community partners to provide a more seamless system of service delivery.

What are the greatest needs of the organization? Like all nonprofits, funding is one of our greatest challenges.  Since all of our programs are free, we need to raise funds each year to bridge the gap between grants, fiscal court support and United Way.  Equally important is the need to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse in our region.  Child abuse thrives on a culture of silence.  Perpetrators count on us being too uncomfortable to talk about abuse, to voice concerns or to put boundaries in place to keep our children safe.  While most parents are comfortable warning children about stranger danger, far too many shy away from talking about body safety, the uh-oh feeling  or what to do if someone they know harms them.

Taking a Stewards of Children class offered by Family Nurturing Center  to learn the signs of abuse and learn ways to protect children is a great first step in creating a community that cares about kids and promotes their safety.  Everyone is KY is a mandated reporter – by law all adults are required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect.   Perhaps even more consequential – what if we were all mandated supporters, reaching out to families in need to provide a listening ear, a kind word, or a resource.  We all have a role to play in ending the cycle of child abuse.

Who do you assist? Why? We serve children and adults in the Greater Cincinnati region.  Our prevention programs are available to the community, regardless of income, geography or risk factors.  Parenting services are also available to a wide range of families that want to enhance family relationships or learn new skills.  Our counseling services are geared toward children who have experiences abuse, or adults who were abused as children.

How can people get involved with the organization? Call us!  We love to tell our story, give tours, and talk about the many ways to partner with us to end the cycle of child abuse.

Anything else you would like to include? We have more than 70 children waiting for specialized therapy to help them address their trauma and history of abuse.  Child abuse is more prevalent than you might realize, and the pandemic has increased risk factors for children.

Please share upcoming events

April 29th is our Prom for a Purpose at the Ovation Center in Newport.  This fundraiser helps raise needed resources to keep our services free. 

For information about sponsorship, silent auction donations or tickets, please visit https://e.givesmart.com/events/p6o/


Jane Herms, MSW President/CEO

Main:  859-525-3200 ext 212 Direct dial:  859-538-1612

Email: [email protected]

Family Nurturing Center 5 Spiral Drive, Suite 100   Florence, KY 41042


Ending the cycle of child abuse by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships.