Founded in 1976, the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CAN Council) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect in Kalamazoo County. We are not a government agency, but we work closely with a wide range of public and private organizations throughout the year.
We teach children how to be safe and when to ask for help. We teach parents how to spot the danger signs. We also provide specialized training for teachers, nurses and police so they can identify child abuse and report it quickly. You can help us continue this important work in a variety of ways, including:
- If you're a mandated reporter (e.g., police officer, nurse, doctor, teacher), attend one of our special training events.
- Distribute our literature and family resource guidebook to your friends, family members and neighbors. The more we know, the better we can protect our kids.
- Consider joining the Kalamazoo CAN Board of Directors. Use your knowledge and experience to help us reach more families in the local area. To volunteer, please click here now.
- Donate online or make a contribution to our annual Lifesavers campaign or other fundraising effort.
- Download our free brochure, "How to Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect."
To learn more about Kalamazoo CAN now, please read on, or review our Mission Statement and Organizational Philosophy.You are always welcome to call our office at (269) 552-4430 if you have a specific question or would like to get involved as a volunteer. You may also visit our Contact page for more information.
Important Note: To report a suspected case of child abuse or neglect, please call the Kalamazoo County Child and Protective Services (CPS) at (269) 337-5046. Or click here now.
How was Kalamazoo CAN started?
Kalamazoo CAN was started in March 1976 by volunteers from the Service Club of Kalamazoo (now Junior League of Kalamazoo). The beginning of the Council was a direct response to the concern of many agencies within the county about the problem of child abuse and neglect. Monthly Council meetings for the purpose of sharing information and concerns have been held since October of 1976.
In June, 1978, the Council was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation and received 501(c)(3) tax status from the federal government. In the fall of 1981, the Juvenile Court of Kalamazoo County donated office space for the Council; and an office staffed by volunteers opened.
What does Kalamazoo CAN do?
The Council is focused on preventing child abuse and neglect before it happens. Key activities include public awareness campaigns, education and advocacy for positive parenting, speaker's bureau, community education for lay and professional audiences, assessing service needs, and developing direct services which are then operated through existing agencies. The Council is also involved in issues advocacy and information and referral services but cannot become involved in individual cases
Who runs Kalamazoo CAN?
While the Council is currently staffed by an Executive Director and a Community Educator, it is dependent upon the volunteer efforts of many people to accomplish its goals. The Council is a coalition of professionals and volunteers. Any interested individual or organization may attend Council meetings or serve on Council committees. The Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, creed, age or handicapping conditions. To read more about our staff, click here now. To volunteer your time and talents, please click here.
Council members are those individuals or organizations who pay membership dues to the Council. Council members receive the monthly mailings of the Council minutes and may vote for the elected members of the Board of Directors at our annual meeting.
What is the Council's structure?
The Kalamazoo CAN staff is responsible to the Council's Board of Directors, which includes community leaders and law enforcement officials. (See list.) Fourteen of the members of the Board are elected by the membership, and the other eight are appointed from major agencies and organizations which have a role in dealing with the problem of child abuse and neglect. The Executive Committee is elected by the members of the Board of Directors.
The major standing committees of the Council are Education/Prevention, Board/Membership Development, Finance/Fund-raising, and the Executive Committee. It is within this committee structure that much of the Council activity takes place.
Meetings of the Board of Directors and the membership are held at least ten times a year on the first Thursday of the month. At these meetings, the Board conducts the Council business.
How is Kalamazoo CAN funded?
Financial support comes from individual donations, donations from churches and charitable organizations, Michigan's Children's Trust Fund for Prevention of Child Abuse, dues, fund raising, and occasionally, foundation grants. The Council has 501(c)(3) tax status and a Michigan charitable solicitation license #MICS6913. Our federal identification number is 38-2221084.
When and where does Kalamazoo CAN meet?
The Council meets the first Thursday of most months at:
420 E. Alcott
Kalamazoo, MI, 49001
For a map to our location, click here now. To become a member and support our ongoing work, please click here now. To learn more about Kalamazoo CAN, we invite you to explore the many links on this website. Or call our office at (269) 552-4430.