Mentoring program gives kids impacted by violence help, guidance - KMOV.com

Mentoring program gives kids impacted by violence help, guidance

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Several St. Louis children are taking a chance on help, on mentorship and on guidance. (Credit: KMOV) Several St. Louis children are taking a chance on help, on mentorship and on guidance. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Several St. Louis children are taking a chance on help, on mentorship and on guidance.

It's a program through St. Louis Children's Hospital that is saving young lives who experienced trauma, just by giving kids someone to talk to.

Margie Batek is a social worker who created the Victims of Violence Mentor Program three years ago. Every child under 18 that comes through the doors of the Children's Hospital Trauma Center that has been the victim of violence is asked if they want to opt into the free program. One in every six has opted in, and, of those, not a single one has returned to the trauma center for injuries related to violence.

"Of the children who did not accept services from us, there have been 60 who have been back for successive gunshots, assaults," Batek said. "Some kind of interpersonal violence. And 6 of those children have died from those injuries they sustained."

The mentors are all social workers trained to recognize when a child needs help before it's too late.

The program is funded by the Children's Hospital Foundation. The goal is to eventually expand to the Metro East.

If you'd like to donate to the program, click here.

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