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WE'VE BEEN BUSY

We've had quite a few exciting changes as we grow and expand our services and programs to become better partners for safe and healthy communities. Here are a few ways we've been growing: 

Expanding Services to 25 Kansas Counties

We are excited to have been awarded the Family Preservation grant for the Kansas Department of Children and Families' (DCF) Eastern region. A voluntary service provided to families with children at risk of entering foster care, family preservation includes both short-term case management services and intensive in-home services. Going into effect on January 1, 2020, and running through June 30, 2024, we will provide family prevention services to 420 families in 25 Kansas counties.

Our trauma-informed team believes that families can, through intervention, learn to strengthen their family, improve functioning and gain support within their communities, enabling them to remain safely together. We help them safely alleviate challenging situations by partnering with the entire family in their home to learn to connect, communicate, problem-solve and ultimately empower them to make positive changes that will last a lifetime.

“I am excited that these new grantees include familiar faces and new partners,” Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard said. “DCF looks forward to working together to reduce risk and safety concerns for children and keep Kansas families together.


We've Been Recertified!

We are proud to be certified in the Sanctuary model of trauma-informed care. That certification is not a once-and-done deal; we undergo a thorough review process every three years complete with site visits. Our Sanctuary recertification site visits were conducted last week. The reviewers met with staff across the organization, including our St. Louis and Wichita tams; families and youth we serve; stakeholders and board members. During the exit interview, the feedback was extremely positive and encouraging, with the reviewers stating:

  • Sanctuary is clearly embedded in our culture and practices.
  • There is a clear commitment to open communication at all levels.
  • Families indicated they felt supported and children were happy.
  • Parents of youth in our residential programs were grateful for the support they received.

And the review team confirmed we have been recertified for another 3 years!


Service Expands to 48 Counties and New Offices

We were recently awarded a contract to provide intensive in-home services (IIS) and intensive family reunification services (IFRS) in 48 counties across Missouri. Because we will be serving 750 more children and families, this contract allows us to open new offices and employee additional staff to help keep families together and functioning well throughout the state. By late summer of 2019, we will have offices in the following cities in the state: Blue Springs, Bowling Green, Columbia, Kansas City, Maryville, St. Joseph, St. Louis and Warrensburg.

    IIS and IFRS staff work with families who are at risk of losing custody of their children or have already had children removed from the home. They take a holistic approach to care that focuses on all members of the family to the end goal of children thriving in a loving, supporting home with their family of origin. This contract means that more children will get to thrive at home, and fewer families will have to go through the trauma of losing custody of their children.

    Launching Mental Health Screenings in Grandview Schools

    Access to mental health services is a critical need across the nation. According to jacksongov.org, more than 30,000 Jackson County citizens of every age, race, religion and income are impacted by mental health challenges. But thanks to funding from the Jackson County Children's Services Fund, we are launching mental health screenings in 5 schools in Grandview, Mo.

    In May 2018, we will begin conducting voluntary school-based social and emotional health screenings to 3rd—5th graders. When students are identified as having an elevated mental health risk, we will provide ongoing support and resources to the student and their families to keep them safe and healthy. These streamlined early intervention services will reduce future mental health crises.


    Expansion of Services Keeps Families Together in NWMO

    We were recently awarded a contract to provide intensive in-home services (IIS) and intensive family reunification services (IFRS) in 4 geographic areas of Northwest Missouri. This 5-year contract will allow us to support additional staff to help keep families together and functioning well in the region.

    IIS and IFRS staff work with families who are at risk of losing custody of their children or have already had children removed from the home. They take a holistic approach to care that focuses on all members of the family to the end goal of children thriving in a loving, supporting home with their family of origin. This contract means that more children will get to thrive at home, and fewer families will have to go through the trauma of losing custody of their children.


    Our St. Louis Family is Growing

    In addition to providing attachment therapy for youth in foster and adoptive homes in the St. Louis area, we have also launched Homes that Heal and TAPS — the highest level of treatment foster care (TFC) — in the community! 

    We now have families training to become TFC-certified and matched with youth who will be placed in their loving homes. Formerly, these youth were only able to receive treatment in residential care, so we couldn’t be more excited or proud of the families that have made this commitment!


    Mental & Behavioral Health Services Expand to St. Louis in Partnership with Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition

    Through a partnership with Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, we have expanded our mental and behavioral health services to foster and adoptive families in the St. Louis area. Foster and adoptive families often face unique challenges due to emotional, mental and/or physical trauma experienced by children in their care. Through this partnership, we fill a critical service gap by bringing more intensive mental health services, such as outpatient counseling, to the families served by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition.

    Read more about our partnership.


    Service Expands to 29 Kansas Counties and a New Office

    We’ve been providing Functional Family Therapy — an evidence-based, in-home intervention service for families — to the Kansas City metro for years. Through a new collaboration with the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), we are now offering this service in 29 counties in NE Kansas and have opened an office in Salina, Kan.

    Learn more about the service expansion, and our celebration with Kansas’ Governor Sam Brownback and KDOC.


    Five Agencies Come Together as One Cornerstones of Care

    In January 2017, Gillis, Healthy Families, Marillac, Ozanam and Spofford united to become a single organization — Cornerstones of Care.

    Together, we have a long legacy of serving children and families in Kansas City and beyond for more than 400 years collectively. By combining our efforts, we will be able to partner with even more children and families. Our name and look may be a little different, but our mission and programs remain the same — and stronger than ever with your continued support.