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Balenciaga and Kering Foundation partner with National Children’s Alliance

Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation have announced a new three-year partnership with the National Children’s Alliance (NCA).

Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation have announced a new three-year partnership with the National Children’s Alliance (NCA). The duo will support the NCA’s Mental Health Institute by facilitating access to trauma-focused cognitive behavioural training, as well as raising public awareness about child abuse and child protection. The NCA will also provide education to Balenciaga on what can be done to promote child safety.

The move comes months after Balenciaga faced an avalanche of criticism for two of its campaigns, one of which featured children holding toy bears in BDSM clothing. The Kering-owned brand quickly removed the campaigns and apologised multiple times for the images, saying it wanted to learn from its mistakes and identify ways in which it could contribute to ending child exploitation.

Now, Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation’s decision to support the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) will train nearly 2,000 child abuse professionals and it is estimated that up to 55,000 children will benefit from receiving evidence-based mental health care during the three-year programme. The three-year programme will focus on the following pillars:

  • Supporting the Children’s Alliance National Institute for Mental Health to help children heal from trauma by facilitating a significant increase in access to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Training (TF-CBT).
  • Provide education for Balenciaga on child protection and actions adults can take to promote the safety and well-being of children.
  • Raise public awareness about child maltreatment and child protection and promote a happy and healthy childhood.

“There is a strong correlation between childhood trauma and negative health effects, from poor performance in school to increased risk of suicide and higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” says NCA executive director Teresa Huizar. “This cycle can be dramatically interrupted and improved for children who receive evidence-based, trauma-focused mental health treatment. For them, it can mean the difference between life and death, which is why the support of Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation for this programme is so urgently needed.”

The NCA serves more than 386,000 children a year in the US, of whom approximately 285,000 are referred to trauma-focused therapy. However, an estimated 80,000 are unable to access treatment because too few therapists are trained to provide it. This deprives children of their right to recover from abuse and neglect, deprives caregivers (who may also be survivors) of the ability to support their children, and creates impacts that go far beyond the traumatic event.

“We were confronted with the reality and magnitude of child trauma during our listening tour where we interacted with several leading organisations and experts in the field of child trauma,” says Cédric Charbit, president and CEO of Balenciaga. “Collectively, we at Balenciaga have listened and learned a lot through this experience, and we wanted to help, to have a positive and lasting impact on children and their futures who needed support but lacked access. We are grateful to support the work of NCA”.

NCA established its Mental Health Institute in 2022 to increase children’s access to trauma-focused, evidence-based mental health treatment. Previously, there was no “one-stop shop” where CAC professionals could go to meet the training needs of their staff. TF-CBT treatment has been shown to reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and behavioural problems. It helps children and caregivers talk about traumatic events and increases caregivers’ ability to understand their children’s needs and support their recovery.

Marie-Claire Daveu, Director of Sustainability and Institutional Affairs at Kering, shares: “For fifteen years, the Kering Foundation has been dedicated to combating violence against women. During this time, we discovered another reality: the intersection between violence against women and violence against children. According to the World Health Organization, globally, up to one billion children between the ages of 2 and 17 have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. To respond to these unacceptable statistics, we began supporting children affected by abuse in Europe in 2019, with Maison des femmes and Face à l’inceste. In line with this commitment, I am proud that the Kering Foundation is initiating a new partnership with the National Children Alliance and, in particular, with its work in mental health”.


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