Child abuse prevention leader named NKY nonprofit executive of the year

Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark is LINK nky's Boone County reporter

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Jane Herms prefers to go unnoticed while leading a Northern Kentucky nonprofit seeking to end the cycle of child abuse. 

So the Family Nurturing Center President and CEO was stunned when she was recently named Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky Horizon Nonprofit Awards 2023 Executive of the Year.

“It was a shock….I didn’t know that I had been nominated,” Herms said regarding the honor designated for large nonprofits. “My board chair did that. I tend to like flying under the radar, so I was surprised and humbled, because there are so many great nonprofit executives in this region.”

With offices in Florence and Cincinnati, the center addresses child abuse free of charge by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships. The agency offers services that include education and training, counseling, parenting time visitation, parenting and holistic and wellness programs.

“We do education and prevention services in the schools, we do parenting education and trauma-focused therapy for children who have been abused or for adults who’ve experienced as children,” Herms said.

Family Nurturing Center President and CEO Jane Herms has been named Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky Horizon Nonprofit Awards 2023 Executive of the Year. Photo provided | Family Nurturing Center

The agency also provides facilitated visitation for families who have lost custody of their children while establishing a range of services to help parents and children build resiliency.

Formed to honor the outstanding contributions of Northern Kentucky-serving nonprofit organizations and community leaders, the Horizon Nonprofit awards the Executive Director of the Year to recognize the achievements of an executive director/CEO who made significant progress toward improving a community issue. 

“The recipient is recognized by peers as a leader in the sector,” Horizon Community Funds President and CEO Nancy Grayson told LINK nky. “The honoree demonstrates excellence in leadership and management, and inspires others to achieve meaningful, measurable and sustainable results.”

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Organized in 2017 as Northern Kentucky’s community foundation, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a public charity supporting Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

When Herms started with the agency nearly 30 years ago, the budget was around $300,000, and the agency had five or six full-time staff members – but the commitment to combating child abuse has remained resolute throughout the course of time. 

“We went from a part-time counselor to having five full-time clinicians on staff that are the best in the region in terms of their specialty in their scope and training,” Herms said, adding the annual budget has increased to $5 million. “Our visitation program started as a pilot serving about 50 families a week – now we serve 300 families a week in our Cincinnati office for facilitated visitation.” 

Herms’ nomination stemmed from Family Nurturing Center Board of Directors President Brittany Bischoff.

“Jane’s always asking board members and staff, ‘What else can we do for our program participants and the community?’” Bischoff said. “Through her leadership, we’ve expanded our services and provide counseling and education to more than 12,000 individuals annually.”

The award embodies Family Nurturing Center teamwork and partnering with organizations while providing support, Herms said. 

“It shines light on our organization, besides shining light on me, personally,” Herms said. “I think the real benefit is it helps other people to know about Family Nurturing Center, the work that we do and to get involved.”

Regarding getting involved, Family Nurturing Center offers Stewards of Children, a prevention program designed to teach adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. 

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“It’s a free program that teaches adults how to talk with kids if there’s been a [sexual abuse] disclosure, establish safety measures they can put in place for the children in their lives and build protections for kids and families in the region,” Herms said. 

For more information about Family Nurturing Center, call (859) 525-3200.

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