Every child deserves to live safely in a home in their community. Missouri children enter the child welfare system at twice the rate of the national average, leaving their families and communities behind. Too often they enter for reasons unrelated to harm or neglect, but due to misdirected responses to family and community hardship. MCC believes that partnering with communities, we can rebalance the system so more children stay safely with their families, not having to leave their neighborhood or disrupt connections.
What will success look like?
Engaged and empowered communities, equipped to support children and families, serving as both a safety net and springboard for their members
Missouri communities work diligently to create an environment where children and families thrive. Communities best understand their strengths and vulnerabilities and are experts on what policies, practices and resourcing support family safety and stability, as well as those that present barriers to families thriving. Empowered communities can impact the direction and use of local policies, but also influence how state policies are designed and implemented.
Equal access to resources that support Social Determinants of Health
Rebalancing the system of care requires that children and families have greater access to those resources that prevent hardship: safe and stable housing, quality health care, supportive social connections, transportation, childcare, etc.
Redirection of Child Welfare Resources to Child and Family Well-Being Investment
Missouri spent over $592 million in 2022 in child welfare. As we increase our investment in resources to support families staying safely together in their communities, over time we will be able to redirect a portion of resources no longer needed for the deeper end of the child welfare continuum.
Equitable and Inclusive System of Care
An equitable system of care means that families in every Missouri community have a reasonable opportunity to meet their physical, social and emotional needs where they live. An inclusive system of care also means that those who have lived experience can meaningfully impact the design and delivery. Youth and parents provide invaluable insights as to what approaches, engagements and services supported them or acted as barriers. Including their voices is an integral component of rebalancing our system of care.
What we are embarking on is a tall order and will not happen overnight, but our families deserve our best and we are committed to change. We need you and your expertise and energy to help rebalance Missouri’s system. Please join us.