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Thriving Families, Safer Children, Youth, Family and Community Partnership Grants

February 8, 2022

man and woman with young child

May 6, 2022

Kansas Children’s Service League Awarded over $100,000 by Prevent Child Abuse America and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to Support Child and Family Well-Being as Part of the Thriving Families, Safer Children Effort 

WICHITA, Kan. – February 8, 2022 – Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL) announced today a $124,307 grant from Prevent Child Abuse America® (PCA America) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation through the Thriving Families, Safer Children, Youth, Family and Community Partnership Grants to support KCSL’s work focused on child and family well-being through a lens of prevention and equity. A total of $1,000,000 was granted to 10 community-based organizations selected for funding. Sixty-three organizations nationwide submitted proposals to receive funding.

“We are excited to reinforce our prevention work with Kansas families thanks to this grant from Prevent Child Abuse America and the Annie E. Casey Foundation,” said KCSL CEO Gail Cozadd. “KCSL provides families with the resources they need to help them succeed to be better parents. With this funding, we can continue to help reduce the risk of child maltreatment and create healthy parent-child relationships that build stronger families for our communities.” 

Thriving Families, Safer Children is a first-of-its-kind effort of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and PCA America. The partnership is working in 22 sites from coast to coast and a sovereign tribal nation. The Thriving Families effort seeks to demonstrate that intentional, coordinated investment in a full continuum of prevention and robust community-based networks of support will promote overall child and family well-being, equity and other positive outcomes for children and families.

The goals of the grant include:

  • Expanding the capacity of the Thriving Families movement to develop and maintain more equitable working relationships and authentic partnerships between the child protection and family serving systems and communities.
  • Strengthening, supporting and connecting youth, parents and community members with real life experiences as they emerge in leadership roles within the Thriving Families movement.
  • Increasing opportunities for Black, Latino and Indigenous children, youth and families to experience well-being and avoid unnecessary involvement with child protective services.
  • Implementing race equity strategies in communities disproportionately impacted by racial disparities.

“Parenting is challenging in the best of times,” said Dr. Melissa Merrick, president & CEO of PCA America. “These challenges have now been exacerbated by an ongoing global pandemic and moments of acute racial and civil unrest that have highlighted longstanding inequities affecting families nationwide. This is the moment we must step up for children and families, and the grass-roots organizations that were selected for this Thriving Families, Safer Children grant are doing just that. At a time when all families and systems are experiencing some level of strain, these organizations are bringing creative ideas to the table on how to bridge communities to build safe, stable and nurturing environments for children and families.” 

A complete list of grantees, totaling $1,000,000 in grants, includes:

  • Center for Family Life in Sunset Park – New York
  • Collaborative Solutions for Communities – Washington, D.C.
  • Evolution Foundation and Oklahoma Family Network – Oklahoma
  • Family Enhancement Center – Minnesota
  • Kansas Children’s Service League – Kansas
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates – Kentucky
  • Nambe Pueblo Healthy Family Services – New Mexico
  • Our Sister, Our Brother – Arizona
  • Sasha Bruce Youthwork – Washington, D.C.
  • Southwest Organizing Project – New Mexico

“We must do more to engage parents, young people and kin in developing the solutions that work for them to keep their families together — especially in Black, Latino and Indigenous communities, where we know families are disproportionately affected by the negative consequences of system involvement,” said Leslie Gross, director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family Well-Being Strategy Group, which is part of Casey’s Center for Systems Innovation. “We all hope to exist in a place where people can get the support and resources they need right in their own communities – like healthcare, mental health, financial support, housing, education and work. With these grants, we are underscoring our commitment to the importance of partnering with people with real life experience and communities to ensure that families have the resources and support they need to remain together and thrive.” 

KCSL will host 40 Community Cafés across the state reaching 250 individuals with lived experience including Black, Latino and Indigenous youth and families. The Community Café is based on the World Café model, which brings participants together around a common subject to explore questions and seek answers. KCSL parent engagement coordinators will partner with parent leaders to reach out across the state in-person, virtually or hybrid.

KCSL will work internally with a variety of programs as well as externally with various partners across the state to raise the voices of a cross section of youth and adults.

About Kansas Children’s Service League 

Stronger families start at Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL). Founded in 1893, KCSL is a statewide, nonprofit agency that serves more than 20,000 Kansas children and families each year. KCSL’s mission is to protect and promote the well-being of children. Our programs work with children and families in the areas of health, safety and education to succeed and break cycles of neglect, abuse and trauma. We help both children and parents develop skills for success in their families, schools and workplaces. KCSL is also the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and Circle of Parents. To learn more, visit us at kcsl.org.  

About Prevent Child Abuse America  

Commemorating its 50th year in 2022, Prevent Child Abuse America is a leading champion for all children in the United States. Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Chicago, we are the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect, working to actively prevent all forms of child abuse and neglect before they occur. Our success is founded on a nationwide network of state chapters and nearly 600 Healthy Families America home visiting sites, which directly provide parents and caregivers a wide variety of services and resources that help children grow up to be productive, contributing members of their communities and society. Our comprehensive approach is informed by science—we translate and disseminate innovative research to promote proven solutions that our vast network then puts into action. And we raise public awareness and advocate for family friendly policies at the national, state and local levels to support transformative programs and promote the conditions and contexts that help children, families and communities across the country thrive. Visit preventchildabuse.org to learn more.  

About the Annie E. Casey Foundation  

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy that creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. Visit aecf.org to learn more.  

Deena Williams 
Communications Manager