The Monique Burr Foundation for Children is a nonprofit organization started by Edward Burr in 1997 on the one-year anniversary of the death of Monique Burr (1960 – 1996), his late wife, to continue her legacy of child protection and child advocacy. From 1997 to 2009, the Foundation provided a variety of prevention education, advocacy, and community leadership efforts geared toward protecting children, but in 2009 decided to exclusively focus on child abuse prevention education. The Foundation is dedicated to protecting children from all types of maltreatment and exploitation by providing the best prevention education programs, collaborating with partner organizations, and engaging communities in child safety initiatives with community awareness efforts and resources.
The Foundation’s mission is to make a positive impact on the community at large, to create change in a family’s life for the better, and to give hope in the life of a child by providing bullying and child abuse prevention safety education that is relevant to issues facing children today.
We carry out our mission by providing MBF Child Safety Matters™, a research-based, primary prevention program that educates and empowers students and all relevant adults with information and strategies to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, digital abuse, and all types of child abuse and exploitation.
The MBF Child Safety Matters program was originally created and released in 2010 as Speak Up Be Safe by a development team that included Childhelp, a nationally recognized child abuse prevention organization, Arizona State University, a leading research University, the Florida Education Cooperative Planning Team, including partners from the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Governor’s office, and the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, a long-time abuse prevention leader in Florida, under the leadership of Lynn Layton, Executive Director, and Stacy Pendarvis, MSW, MA, Program Director.
For the 2013 – 2014 school year, the program was updated based on extensive facilitator feedback, substantial literature reviews, and input from noted education and child abuse prevention subject matter experts, reviewed by leaders in the education and prevention fields, and released in Florida with the new name, MBF Child Safety Matters.
In collaboration with the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coalition of Northeast Florida, the Foundation also offers Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children,” the only nationally distributed, evidence-informed program that teaches adults how to protect children from child sexual abuse.
Lastly, we educate the community about child safety and prevention issues through a blog, social media, online resources, and community events.
Although our strategies may have changed over time, our vision remains the same; we know that to truly protect children, we must remain focused on our mission while having a comprehensive approach in both content and audience. With collaborative partnerships and initiatives designed to better protect children, we are successfully continuing the legacy of Monique Burr and helping to better protect all children.