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Annual Child Well-Being Report Ranks Missouri 27th Among States

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Children in Missouri are facing unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression - that's according to the 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book released August 8 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 
The 2022 report finds mental health is a concern across the country, as kids felt the pressures from COVID-19. Nationally, nearly 12% of children had anxiety or depression, while in Missouri it was about 11%.

Tracy Greever-Rice, program director of Missouri KIDS COUNT for the Family and Community Trust (FACT), said it's crucial that kids have access
to mental-health care. "In metropolitan areas we have clusters of mental and behavioral health professionals," said Greever-Rice. "But in more rural areas access becomes more of a challenge and becomes impacted by non-clinical things like transportation."

She added that affordable health-coverage options, either through private insurance or Medicaid, also is key to ensuring access to care. About 6% of Missouri kids lack health insurance, according to the report. Missouri showed improvement in all of the report's economic indicators, including a lower child poverty rate than the national average.

Leslie Boissiere - vice president for external affairs with the Casey Foundation - said the federal government has offered supports, such as additional food assistance during the pandemic, but notes that help is likely to expire soon.

"It's incredibly important that decisionmakers seize the opportunity and the lessons learned during the COVID-19 period," said Boissiere, "when more resources were provided to families. So that we can make sure that every child has their basic needs met and that the overall well-being of children increases."

Areas for concern for Missouri in the KIDS COUNT data include fourth grade reading proficiency and eighth-grade math proficiency, as well as the percentage of low-birth weight babies, and youths who are overweight or obese.

Greever-Rice said these are areas where good short-term and long-term policies can make a big difference in kids' lives as they mature into adulthood. "Attentiveness to these issues will make a big difference and prevention is not just good for individuals," said Greever-Rice, "but also more efficient and a less expensive way to do public policy. "

According to the report, Missouri ranks 27th overall for child well-being among the 50 states.

Click HERE to review the 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

FY 2022 After School Impact


ARCHS conducts extensive evaluation of all of its funded initiatives to document the impact on client services.

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, ARCHS conducted surveys with its funded after school program staff, youth participants, and their parents/caretakers. The surveys represent a proactive approach to assess program quality and allow for strategic program adjustments as needed for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

Surveys for all after school audiences assessed the social and emotional learning goals of Conscious Discipline® training implemented in the 2021-2022 school year.

Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive classroom management program based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices specifically designed to make changes in the lives of adults first. The adults, in turn, change the lives of children and adults stay in control of themselves and in charge of children.

In an end of year survey, 98% of staff indicated they are incorporating Conscious Discipline practices in their after school program. Both staff and parents/caretakers indicated they are seeing the results of this training. Nearly all staff (98%) reported “My after school program helps enhance students’ personal and social skills.”

From their perspective, 91% of parents/caretakers are seeing the benefits of Conscious Discipline training, agreeing with the statement, “The after school program is helping my child express emotions in a positive way.”

Parent/caretakers as well as youth value their after school program. The majority of parents/caretakers (97%) rated their program quality in the 2021-2022 school year as good (26%) or excellent (71%). Similarly, the majority of youth (99%) rated their program quality as medium (29%) or high (70%). As one parent stated, “I think this is the best after care program my children ever attended.”

During the FY22 school year, ARCHS issued $2.5 million to provide free after school programming for 1,900 students at 29 locations in the Jennings and Saint Louis Public School districts. ARCHS secured its FY22 funding from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Saint Louis Mental Health Board. ARCHS' funded after school partners include:

-Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
-Gene Slay’s Girls and Boys Club
-Hopewell Center
-Northside Youth and Senior Service Center
-Provident Behavioral Health
-Stray Dog Theatre/Arts in Mind 
-United 4 Children

ARCHS Awards Funding to Support Summer Enrichment Programs


In June 2022 ARCHS issued $390,121 to provide enrichment activities for more than 650 youth at 12 St. Louis area summer programs managed by 8 area youth development organizations including: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, Communities First, Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club, Northside Youth & Senior Service Center, Provident Behavioral Health, The Sophia Project, SPROG Horizons, and Wesley House Association.

Additionally ARCHS is partnering with EnTeam, HealthWorks! Museum, Mentors in Motion, Operation Food Search, Mad Science, The Oxygen Project - Yoga for Youth, and Mentors in Motion to further enhance the summer programs.

The programs focus on academic support/enrichment, social and life skills, health and recreation, character development, and parent and family involvement. Each day a nutritious meal is provided. ARCHS secured its funding from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

ARCHS Honored for Expanding and Enhancing Services for Crime Victims and Victimized Communities


On May 12, ARCHS was honored with an unprecedented 5th What's Right with the Region Award from FOCUS-St. Louis for its work in creating the Neighborhood Healing Network.

Through this partnership, ARCHS brought together the following esteemed organizations to find new and innovative ways to support crime victims and victimized communities:

-Alive & Well Communities
-Better Family Life, Inc.
-Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
-Crime Victim Center
-Fathers & Families Support Center
-Mission: St. Louis
-Missouri Department of Social Services
-Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis

ARCHS is known for strategically building systems that leverage resources from several organizations that result in the ability to deliver a greater impact that if done individually.

Over the years, ARCHS' partnerships focusing on early childhood, youth development/afterschool, ex-offenders, and children's vision care have also been recognized by FOCUS-St. Louis.

ARCHS Awards $2.4 Million for Children and Youth Services


During fiscal year 2022 ARCHS issued $2.4 million to support and enhance children and youth services across the region. ARCHS provided grants to the following organizations:

-Annie Malone Children & Family Services
-Better Family Life
-Bridging Families to Communities & Beyond
-Fathers & Families Support Center
-Hopewell Center
-Mark Twain Community Resource Center
-Midtown Community Center
-Mission: St. Louis
-St. Louis Arc
-Youth & Family Center

ARCHS secured its funding from the Missouri Department of Social Services. ARCHS’ funded partners will provide additional leveraged/in-kind support to further advance the ARCHS’ funded programs. Services available through ARCHS’ funded programs include behavioral health support, career exploration, college scholarship applications, HiSet preparation, job skills, mentoring, out of school time activities, parenting education/skills, therapeutic learning equipment, and additional wrap around support services.

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021), ARCHS has awarded more than $18 million in grants to support a network of more than 30 area not-for-profit human service organizations.