For three decades, A Child’s Haven has enriched the Greenville spirit and its community through their rehabilitative work. But what about the members that work behind the scenes, orchestrating the magic that the public routinely observe? Prime Realty wanted to highlight the staff members at A Child’s Haven that never were interested in praise to begin with. So that is why we are launching this series featuring staff members at A Child’s Haven. To start the series, our digital media strategist coordinated an interview with the Executive Director, Tanya Camunas. Tanya has held this position to upwards of a year and continues to propel ACH and their initiatives forward.
Enrolling your child into preschool establishes a foundation which improves the overall capability of the child moving forward. Unfortunately, 26% of children in the state of South Carolina live in poverty. For those families that do not have the means to enroll their child, A Child’s Haven provides three services: Therapeutic Child Care, Individual Therapy and Family Therapy, and Home Visitation. According to the data intake on their website, 95% of families reported they are better prepared with pertinent skills needed to help their child, 96% of caregivers reported they deal with daily challenges more effectively after their involvement with ACH, and 98% of caregivers reported they feel more confident in their parenting abilities.
According to A Child’s Haven website, Camunas joined ACH as Director of Quality Assurance & Program Evaluation in July 2017 and was promoted to Senior Director of Program and Strategy in November 2018. Prior to her time at ACH, she worked in the field for over a decade including owning a nonprofit consulting business, Program Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA/GAL) in Colorado, and Florida Department of Social Services. Camunas holds degrees in Human Services and Business Economics, and she specializes in performance measurement, program evaluation, strategic planning and program development.
Please continue reading to learn about Tanya Camunas and her experience as Executive Director at A Child’s Haven.
PR: How did you become involved with this organization? How has it grown or changed over time?
TC: I became involved a little over four years ago, soon after we moved our family of four from Colorado back to South Carolina to be closer to family. I had started a small consulting business in performance measurement helping other nonprofits develop a system and process to measure their effectiveness and impact, with a goal of becoming a sustainable nonprofit, strategically positioned to grow and thrive. Getting to know the people of Greenville, and learning its potential made me want to serve organizations in my own community. I came across A Child’s Haven in Town Magazine late one night and felt compelled to reach out to them to see if it could be a good fit. Once I arrived at the Center to take a tour, I knew without a doubt that I was supposed to be here. I started as the Director of Programs and Strategy and then transitioned into my current role. My conviction that our program can be replicated as a solution to break cycles of abuse, neglect, and poverty, has strengthened since I started 4 years ago.
PR: Can you tell me about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run? What do you think your constituents or beneficiaries would say is the best thing about your organization?
TC: We are a nonprofit therapeutic childcare center, and we provide healing therapy to at risk young children with social and emotional challenges, while working with their caregivers to rehabilitate, empower and strengthen their family. Children who are expelled from typical childcare centers because of their behavioral health concerns are welcomed at A Child’s Haven. Our trauma-informed, evidence-based program is designed to treat the whole family by providing each enrolled family with our three core services of Therapeutic childcare, Individual Child Therapy, and Family Therapy. These behavioral health services would cost families over $55,000 a year; however, we offer it free of charge for eligible families.
PR: What are your goals for the next three to five years? What priorities will help you achieve them? What barriers are in your way?
TC: We aim to replicate our program within the next couple of years. We are cultivating relationships with potential investors and partners as part of pour strategy. We are working to make our program more sustainable in all aspects to position it for mass replication. Our multi-phase TOEs (Therapeutic Outdoor Environments) project is a major project that we plan to complete in 2-3 years as well. We aim to transform unused outdoor space into useable spaces to deliver programming. We are identifying a sustainable funding model for this venture.
PR: What is the hardest decision the organization has had to make recently?
TC: Whether to shut down for COVID or not last year, and how to open up again differently.
PR: What do you spend most of your time on?
TC: Other than managing to do lists and email, it’s usually balancing my allocation of time towards each department at the Center, pertaining to daily operations, policies, and practices. I’m typically preparing, facilitating, or participating in a meeting with staff, the board or community groups who care about the health and future of their own community.
Prime Realty primarily decided to launch this series with the goal in mind that the community and its members will be offered new insight into how things blossom into fruition at A Child’s Haven. Stay tuned for the next feature set to publish in November with Rebekah Muhilly. To learn more about A Child’s Haven, visit their website.