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2018 Missouri KIDS COUNT® Databook Released

Missouri’s Family and Community Trust (FACT) has released the 2018 Missouri KIDS COUNT Data Book, on April 3, 2018, intended to identify the needs of children and families throughout the state. 

The book is available at

Aligning with the national KIDS COUNT domains of economic well-being, health, family and community, and education, Missouri KIDS COUNT uses outcome measures and contextual indicators to rank Missouri counties. Counties then use that information to find and address needs in their communities.

Outcome measures include things like children under 18 in poverty, the high school graduation rate, and births to moms without a high school diploma – all strong predicators for the relationship between childhood experiences and adult outcomes. Many of these indicators can be impacted by policy change. With contextual indicators, Missouri KIDS COUNT is looking at population characteristics related to our state’s children. This can be adult unemployment, median family household income, and health insurance coverage rates. The indicators give context to help understand the outcome measures.

“More than two decades of Missouri KIDS COUNT annual snapshots lets us track on trends impacting how our kids are doing across policy initiatives, the evolution of direct service interventions, and shifts in Missouri’s political and economic culture,” said Tracy Greever-Rice, Missouri KIDS COUNT Program Director.

The following three takeaways appear to be evident in this year’s data:

  • According to the figures, Missouri’s children’s lives have improved, with 9 of 10 state-wide outcome indicators showing improvement in 2016 versus 2012.
  • The gains for Missouri’s children aren’t always equally distributed. Where children live and the quality of resources in their local communities have an impact on their wellbeing. Children in Missouri’s most rural and most urban communities continue to face the greatest challenges.
  • Missouri’s non-white children, while improving consistently with white children, continue, as a sub-population, to face challenges grounded in exposure to persistent income inequality and low-resource neighborhoods and communities.

“The release of Missouri KIDS COUNT indicators provides a yearly opportunity for policymakers and service providers to step back from their day-in/day-out work and apply an external and evidenced-base lens to the well-being of children,” stated Bill Dent, Executive Director, Family and Community Trust.

This year’s Data Book release marks the final year that the book will be available in hard copy. Moving forward the data will be available online and through the new Missouri KIDS COUNT App which will be available for download for both iOS and Android. This transition is part of an effort to release relevant and important data as soon as it becomes available.     

“The Missouri KIDS COUNT app will facilitate the use of indicators in the public arena, in policymaking, and in the field. FACT is committed to investing in the technology to keep Missouri KIDS COUNT relevant and accessible to all Missourians,” said Dent.

This is the Family and Community Trust’s (FACT) fifth year serving as Missouri’s KIDS COUNT affiliate. FACT is the state level, private/public organization that governs a network of 20 Community Partnerships focused on achieving better results for children and families. ARCHS serves as the Greater St. Louis area's community partnership and local KIDS COUNT representative. 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

Dianne Benjamin's Retirement

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On March 15, Dr. Dianne Benjamin retired from ARCHS. As ARCHS’ Director of Planning and Research, she provided a strategic range of grant writing, evaluation, and research expertise to the ARCHS’ team. 

She was instrumental in documenting ARCHS’ pivotal role in several federally-funded grants and pilot projects related to the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, and the United States Environmental Protection agency.


Annual State DSS Audit

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On March 16, ARCHS successfully completed an annual audit of ARCHS’ state (DSS) funded early childhood (Educare/Home Visiting) and after school (ASAP) programs.

The audit encompasses the review by state auditors of hundreds of files and documents detailing programmatic and financial records.

ARCHS is currently responsible for more than $9 million in funding through state, regional, and private funders.

STAR Summit 2018: Pathways to Employment for Justice Involved Individuals

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On March 14 STAR hosted its annual summit at St. Louis Community College's Florissant Valley campus. Over 230 attendees showed up to listen to discussions about the challenges facing justice involved individual’s journey to employment.

The panelists and speakers took a deep look into the issues surrounding employment and explored strategies that participants could immediately take be into the field. 

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A representative from Missouri DOC, Ken Chapman (new director of reentry efforts), spoke about upcoming efforts to prepare offenders for employment before release. Roberta Meyers from National H.I.R.E. Network, traveled from out of state to talk about connecting Civil Rights history to the current struggles of justice involved individuals.

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Along with the main speakers, two panels featured success stories from both individuals and support programs. Mission St. Louis’ Beyond Jobs program and St. Louis Community Action Agency St. Louis County (CAASTL) spoke about their initiatives/philosophies of how to properly place ex-offenders into meaningful and lasting jobs. The Q/A was vibrant for both this panel and the afternoon session featuring two ex-offenders recounting their story and struggles.

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Lastly, the City of St. Louis and SLATE (St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment) presented on the hiring practices of the city, how “Ban the Box” has opened applications to individuals with previous criminal records for city employment and how best to navigate the hiring systems utilized by the city.

Look for more STAR events as the year moves along.

Visit for more reentry information.

St. Louis Hidden Figures Honorees

ARCHS, on behalf of The St. Louis Hidden Figures Committee, proudly nominated Vincent McKinney and Lorenzo Stanley to receive the St. Louis Hidden Figures award. This award was created to recognize individuals that go unnoticed in their efforts to better the lives of St. Louis' more vulnerable children.

Vincent McKinney has spent more than 15 years overseeing academic and cultural enrichment, along with facilitating programs that promoted entrepreneurism and health. He is best known as a 4H STEM robotics educator, where he teaches with an emphasis on engineering and technology.

Vincent McKinney
Lorenzo Stanley is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Inc. and works as an advisor/mentor for the Sigma Beta Club, a youth group associated with the fraternity. His efforts aim to position himself as a positive male role model in the community and to connect with children on a variety of issues.

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Along with six other honorees, these two were recognized during a ceremony at Ashland Elementary School on Feb. 21.


The St. Louis Hidden Figure Partnership is composed of ARCHS, Provident Inc., Hopewell Center, The ASAP Program at Ashland Elementary (a St. Louis Public School), and St. Louis City Children’s Division.