Tampa-based Champions for Children (CFC) is one of just a few organizations in the state of Florida to focus exclusively on preventing child abuse and neglect before they even begin.
This nationally accredited agency works to improve birth outcomes for pregnant women; support healthy social-emotional development in infants and children; build parental self-confidence; and ensure children are developmentally on-track and ready to learn.
And now, they’re also nationally certified as a top employer committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces.
Champions for Children was recently awarded Mental Health America’s Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health. Even more impressive: they earned the highest Platinum designation, joining powerhouses like Amazon, ADT, and Chevron.
Led by Mental Health America’s rich history in research and advocacy, the Bell Seal’s holistic evaluation of employer practices considers the entire employee experience when recognizing employers committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces.
“Supporting mental health is core to our mission with families,” said Amy Haile, Chief Executive Officer for Champions for Children. “One of the major things we do is help parents build coping skills that support their well-being so they can focus better on their important job of providing a safe, nurturing home for their child. So, it has always made sense for us to exercise that value with our employees as well.”
Applying for the Bell Seal was a smooth and straightforward process that was thorough, yet easier than expected, Haile said. Applicants are provided support throughout the entire process, which took about 5 weeks from start to finish.
Companies and agencies are given the opportunity to review all the criteria months before the application period even opens.
CFC kept the criteria in mind as they were revising best practices like their Employee Satisfaction & Engagement Survey and reviewing benefits.
“The criteria helped to give us a benchmark,” Haile said.
CFC highlighted efforts in their application that included:
- Staff being certified as trainers in Mental Health First Aid. This allows the agency to provide that training to every single staff person on their team, regardless of their role.
- Having a staff-led group called the Trauma Sensitive Quality Circle that specifically looks at ways to support staff’s mental well-being, especially in light of the sometimes emotionally taxing work they do.
- Every year, their Senior Leadership reviews employee benefits. Although they can’t always offer everything they wish they could, they strive to add something new every year that supports their staff’s well-being.
- In recent years, the agency has added days off for a “Mental Health Monday” holiday in March and Juneteenth in June; expedited the timeframe for increases in PTO accruals; improved their parental leave benefits; and allowed more flexible work arrangements for eligible employees.
After submitting their application there was a one-on-one interview process where CFC had the opportunity to provide clarity about their application and learn more about the Bell Seal.
In fact, clarifications that occurred in their interview process led their Silver Level Bell Seal to be upgraded all the way to Platinum.
“Overall, the process is streamlined and supportive, and even helped us think through how we support mental health in our workplace in ways that will lead us to improve going forward,” Haile said.
There’s also another added perk for receiving the designation.
“Like a lot of organizations, we also recognize that in a historically tight labor market, employees have their choice of employer – and they want to know their employer is going to have their back,” Haile said. “The Bell Seal is a unique way we can communicate to top talent that we’re committed to providing a workplace that supports their mental well-being.”
If your company would like to pursue a Bell Seal certification, reach out to us at email@example.com.