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Meeting with Missouri Governor Mike Parson


ARCHS had the opportunity to meet with Governor Mike Parson to share our impact in the Greater St. Louis area and discuss how we can better serve communities in need on Thursday, October 10, 2019. We were also joined by The Family and Community Trust Executive Director William Dent. 

The state currently entrusts ARCHS with more than $11 million in social services related funding that helps us dramatically improve the lives of children and families in St. Louis' most disadvantaged and impoverished communities. In the 2019 fiscal year, more than 190,000 St. Louisans benefited from our early childhood, school age, and workforce initiatives.

To view the governor's entire photo album from this meeting, click here

2019 KIDS COUNT Poverty Report



On September 24, 2019, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” a KIDS COUNT® data snapshot that examines where concentrated poverty has worsened across the country despite a long period of national economic expansion.

The report, which analyzes the latest U.S. Census data available, finds that between 2008–2012 and 2013–2017, Missouri saw a slight one-percent decrease in the number of children living in concentrated poverty. In the 2013-2017 period, 121,000 (9%) of Missouri’s kids lived in areas of concentrated period, down from 136,000 (10%) estimated for the 2008-2012 period.

Growing up in a community of concentrated poverty — that is, a neighborhood where 30 percent or more of the population is living in poverty — is one of the greatest risks to child development and well-being. Approximately 12% of children in the United States, or more than 8.5 million children, live in these settings. Children in high-poverty neighborhoods are less likely than other children to have access to healthy food, quality schools, reliable medical care, and stable, safe housing. And children who grow up in high poverty neighborhoods are more likely to remain poor as adults.

While a small percentage of Missouri children living in concentrated poverty has declined, the experience of Missouri’s children has varied by key demographics such as race and age, and geographic location. The percent of white, non-Hispanic children in Missouri has ticked up from 4% to 5% between the study periods, while the percent of black children living in neighborhoods with 30% or more of households in poverty has declined from 33% in the 2008-2012 to 28% in the 20132017 period. Very young children (ages 0-4) are less likely to live in concentrated poverty areas than in the earlier period, whereas the percent of older children and young adults (ages 5-24) has remained generally consistent in Missouri.

Children living in Kansas City and the city of St. Louis (U.S. Census Bureau-defined principle city of metropolitan areas) are slightly less likely to live in concentrated poverty (30% in 2008-2012/27% in 2013-2017) than they were in the past, though over 75,000 children are included in this estimate. However, the both the number and percent of children living in concentrated poverty in non-metropolitan areas has increased modestly from 26,000 to 29,000 (8% to 9%).

“Here in Missouri, we work through 20 community partnerships throughout the state to ameliorate the impacts of concentrated poverty and other risks to families and children through supporting opportunities for parents to develop workforce skills as well as providing needed services and resources to children,” said Bill Dent, executive director of the Family and Community Trust (FACT).

The Casey Foundation urges leaders — from the national and state level to counties, cities and other local settings — to act now to help families lift themselves out of these circumstances. Policies at the community, county and state levels that can have a significant impact on the lives of children in struggling families include:

Ending housing discrimination based on whether a person was formerly incarcerated or is using a federal housing voucher.

Expanding workforce training that is targeted to high-poverty, low opportunity communities.

Developing and funding small-business loan programs that serve entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color — or people that traditional lenders tend to reject, such as individuals with poor credit or criminal records.

The Family and Community Trust (FACT) serves as the affiliate for Missouri KIDS COUNT®. The Family and Community Trust is the state level, private and public organization that governs a network of 20 Community Partnerships (including ARCHS) focused on achieving better results for children and families. FACT’s KIDS COUNT initiative focuses on child well-being in Missouri. To read data informed stories and access specific data and information about the well-being of children in our state, visit mokidscount.org.

ARCHS Hosts Federal Forum


On August 14, a regional forum hosted by ARCHS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) drew more than 150 area human service professionals and funders.

The goal of the Thriving Communities for a Better St. Louis Forum was to assist regional leaders and influencers in developing and implementing action plans to ensure vulnerable individuals and families overcome barriers to social and economic well-being and mobility.

Keynote speakers included Clarence Carter, Director of the HSS Office of Family Assistance/Administration for Children and Families, and Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services.

The forum focused on key topics that related to generational poverty: justice involved individuals, connections to employment, and mental health. Breakout sessions allowed participants to offer detailed ideas on ways to address these barriers and issues.In August, a regional forum hosted by ARCHS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) drew more than 150 area human service professionals and funders.

ARCHS Funds Summer Programs

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ARCHS has issued a $26,700 grant to Provident, Inc., a $30,000 grant to Unleashing Potential, and a $50,000 grant to Boys and Girls Clubs St. Louis to support summer enrichment programs at three locations.

The Missouri Department of Social Service funds will enable more than 150 low-income grade school-age students to participate in summer activities at St. Frances Cabrini Academy, Centennial Christian Church, and Adams Park Community Center.

The weekday programs conducted by Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Louis, Provident, Inc. and Unleashing Potential will focus on academic support/enrichment, social and life skills, health and recreation, character development, and parent and family involvement. Each day, a nutritious meal or snack will be provided.

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

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The approximately 1.4 million children who comprise nearly one quarter of Missouri’s population are more likely to live in poverty than Missouri’s children in 1990 according to the KIDS COUNT® Data Book released June 17, 2019 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The 30th edition of the Data Book — a comprehensive annual report on child well-being for the United States and every state – examines change in how the nation’s kids are doing since the first Data Book was published in 1990 by measuring indicators over time in four areas research consistently shows are important in children’s lives: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Missouri as 28th of 50 states in child well-being this year, a slight decline in ranking from 26th in the 2018 report.
“Missouri’s downward tick in ranking reflects a combination of a persistently slower pace of economic growth in the middle of the country and entrenched disparities in resources and opportunities for Missouri’s kids based on demographics and location,” said Missouri KIDS COUNT® Program Director Tracy Greever-Rice. “About one-fifth of our children live in poverty and we haven’t made reliable inroads into decreasing this proportion of our child population exposed to the long-term consequences of poverty since the KIDS COUNT® Data Book was first published.”

2019KC graphic3 MO

In 1990, 17 percent of Missouri’s children lived in households with incomes below the federal poverty line, and in 2017, 19 percent of Missouri’s children lived in poverty. While many of Missouri’s indicators have remained stable or improved between the 2018 and 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, small percentage increases in teens not in school or working and not graduating on time, as well as an increase of children in single-parent households, children without health insurance and in children whose parents lack secure employment are predictors of future economic instability when these kids become adults. While Missouri’s ranking on the health domain improved from 33rd to 32nd place from 2018 to 2019, the child and teen death rate continues to rise. In 2017, the rate stood at 36 per 100,000, or 521 deaths, between the ages of 1-19.

The 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book reports that more than 13 million U.S. children live in poverty, and the nation disparately fails to equip many children with what they need to reach their full potential, especially in communities of color. Obstacles that perpetuate racial disparities can derail African-American, American Indian and Latino kids, undercutting the incredible individual potential of these children. Dismantling these barriers will lead to a brighter future for kids and a stronger America.

The Casey Foundation calls on elected officials and other policymakers to:

  •  - Count all kids. Ensure the 2020 census counts all children, especially those under age 5 and from hard-to-count areas.

  •  - Expand the programs that make and keep kids healthy. In Missouri, staying committed to ensuring all children have access to high quality, reliable, affordable health care including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  •  - Provide the resources that are proven to help families lift themselves up economically. Federal and state earned income tax credits (EITC) and child tax credit programs mean working parents can use more of their take-home pay to meet their children’s needs.
“America’s children are one-quarter of our population and 100 percent of our future,” said Casey Foundation President and CEO Lisa Hamilton. “All of the 74 million kids in our increasingly diverse country have unlimited potential, and we have the data, knowledge and evidence to create the policies that will help them realize it. It’s incumbent on us to do just that.”

Bill Dent, Executive Director of the Family and Community Trust, Missouri’s KIDS COUNT® grantee, agrees. “In Missouri, KIDS COUNT® Data Book provides an annual benchmark of what we’ve achieved and what we must continue to do to ensure opportunity for each and every one of our children,” Dent said. “Our child-serving agencies and policymakers collaborate at the state and local level within resource constraints to address the needs of our kids as fully as possible. This year, we’re very focused on ensuring a complete count in the 2020 census. Missouri’s most vulnerable kids live in circumstances and areas most susceptible to being undercounted, while most in need of federal and state resources leveraged upon an accurate count.”

The Family and Community Trust (FACT) serves as the affiliate for Missouri KIDS COUNT®. The Family and Community Trust is the state level, private and public organization that governs a network of 20 Community Partnerships (including ARCHS) focused on achieving better results for children and families. FACT’s KIDS COUNT initiative focuses on child well-being in Missouri. To read data informed stories and access specific data and information about the well-being of children in our state, visit mokidscount.org.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 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. For more information, visit aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.