Judith Van Ginkel Among 10 Winners of National Purpose Prize

$100,000 Award Honors Career Impact, Benefits Every Child Succeeds

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Judith Van Ginkel, president of Every Child Succeeds, is one of 10 individuals in the United States to receive the 2010 Purpose Prize. Awarded by Civic Ventures, a national think tank, the Purpose Prize awards up to $100,000 each to 10 people over 60 who create new ways to solve tough social problems.

Every Child Succeeds, a home visitation program for first-time, at-risk mothers and their babies, is intended to provide an optimal physical and emotional start in life for children. The program, made possible by the support of private donors and public funds, was founded in 1999 by three organizations: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Cincinnati Children’s is the managing partner of Every Child Succeeds.

“With Every Child Succeeds, we have been able to level the laying field for helpless, terrified young mothers,” says Van Ginkel. “With education and kindness, our mothers have blossomed and created strong families. With the generous Purpose Prize, Every Child Succeeds will help more families in our community and throughout the United States.”

“Purpose Prize winners are courageous, creative, passionate and strategic – all the qualities needed to make headway on some of our greatest challenges,” adds Marc Freedman, Founder and CEO of Civic Ventures and author of the upcoming book The Big Shift. “It is the combination of these qualities, their decades of experience, and the sheer size of the baby boomer population that make social innovators in their encore careers a promising and invaluable asset to society.”

Now in its fifth year, the Purpose Prize is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation. It is a program of the Encore Careers campaign (, which aims “to engage millions of baby boomers in encore careers combining social impact, personal meaning and continued income in the second half of life.”

Every Child Succeeds contracts with community-based agencies and hospitals to provide social workers, child development specialists and nurses who visit mothers and their babies on a regular basis from the time of pregnancy until the child’s third birthday. Home visitors offer parenting support and guidance, such as tracking the baby’s development, providing health and nutrition education, and assessing the home environment to ensure that it is safe and stimulating. The program is voluntary and all services are provided free of charge.

Since 1999, Every Child Succeeds has served approximately 17,000 families through more than 340,000 home visits.

ECS uses an evidence-based approach to continually enhance its services, relying on extensive data to measure outcomes and apply quality improvement science. Eligible moms are young, low-income, single and/or receiving inadequate prenatal care. These are factors that tend to put their children at higher risk for delayed development, abuse and
neglect, and poor academic achievement.

“Within the last two decades, new technology has allowed us to visualize brain activity in remarkable ways,” says Van Ginkel. We now know that age zero to 3 is a critical window of brain formation, and without a stimulating and nurturing environment to achieve optimal brain development, troubles result that affect children into adulthood.”

Home visits focus on positive parenting, self-sufficiency, child safety, preventive health care and early intervention to provide a positive trajectory for the child, promote child and family well-being and work toward school readiness. Home visitors also help mothers access prenatal care and other community-based resources.

Among the documented outcomes of the program are that:

  • Children enrolled in ECS are 60 percent less likely to die as infants
  • Every child enrolled in the program has a medical home
  • Ninety-five percent of enrolled infants function at a developmentally normal level.

Van Ginkel has had a distinguished career as a champion for women’s and children’s health and for supporting program initiatives with sound research. She is active in the community serving at a leadership level in numerous organizations. Van Ginkel will join the nine other winners and 46 Purpose Prize Fellows at the Purpose Prize Summit November 12-14 in Philadelphia.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, 513-636-4656