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Alliance for Children, Families lets public peak inside

by Joe Gamm | May 20, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner, left, stopped in Thursday, May 19, 2022, to see former co-workers at the Missouri Alliance of Children and Families at 211 Marshall St. Here she is shown with Janet Braker, middle, and Carrie Balm. Jacobs-Kenner is the former CEO, and Balm currently serves in that role. (Julie Smith/News Tribune photo)

A organization that has spent the last quarter-century serving children held an open house Thursday morning.

The Missouri Alliance for Children & Families helps foster-connected youth and parents stay together safely.

MACF creates connections with partner agencies to empower children, youth and families in Missouri to grow and succeed, according to its website. Its mission is to empower children and families to grow and succeed, using individualized strengths and community resources, according to the site.

Several dozen board and staff members, former board and staff members, and supporters gathered for Thursday's event.

MACF President Carrie Bolm said it was an opportunity to remember the past 25 years and celebrate those coming up.

"We provide case management for kids and families who are in foster care," Bolm said. "We have contracts with the state of Missouri. We serve over 2,000 kids every day who are in foster care and their families across the state."

The organization strives to reunify children with their families or find other permanent options, and to assure they receive all their necessary medical services and educational needs, she said.

The alliance develops and uses innovative treatment models to empower children and families experiencing trauma to stay together, live safely and successfully complete treatment programs quickly.

Recently developed programs underscore the positive impact MACF and its partner agencies have made on the youth and families they serve.

"Life Set" allows youth to set and pursue their own goals, including for education and employment, according to the website. In March, all of the 35 youth being served were appropriately enrolled in an education program or had graduated and 74 percent had found employment.

Partner agencies include:

• Cornerstones of Care, which is a comprehensive behavioral health agency with the goal of sharing best practices and leveraging capacity to better develop infrastructure. It provides programming in residential treatment, mental health, foster care and adoption, and youth and family support and education.

• Every Child's Hope provides residential treatment, transitional and independent living, day treatment, specialized residential and education services for children with co- occurring developmental disabilities and psychiatric concerns, early education concerns and an array of community-based services.

• Great Circle is one of the largest behavioral heath organizations in Missouri. It provides an array of residential treatment, education, prevention and community-based services.

• Missouri Baptist Children's Home, Child and Family Ministries provides a continuum of care for children and their families, including therapeutic group homes, transitional living, pregnancy services, in-home case management, treatment foster care and family resource development.

• Presbyterian Children's Home and Services provides transitional living, case management, therapeutic mentoring and in-home therapy.

MACF contracts with the Missouri Department of Social Services to provide comprehensive foster care and specialized services for children each year through its network of partner agencies. The organization has offices in Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Dexter.

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