Partnership with Families
St. Charles County, Missouri
The primary goal of PWF is to focus on the unique needs of children and youth with serious emotional disturbance whose high level of need involves them in two or more child-serving agencies. Specific program goals are to: integrate existing fragmented service components and funding streams into a single service delivery system for youth with serious emotional disturbance and their families; develop accountability within the system of care to both families and the public; partner with parents in system development, governance, and functioning; build a single system of care with financial sustainability; implement formal interagency relationships and agreements at the county level, paralleling the State of Missouri’s efforts to break down funding “silos”; and include a strong outcome evaluation component that will coordinate activities with the national evaluation. Local and national project evaluation outcomes will be used to improve the services of the PWF program continuously. The program’s mission is to create a family-driven, sustainable, culturally competent, seamless system of care for youth with serious emotional disturbance and their families, with demonstrable outcomes. The plan is for this site to serve as a model that will be suitable for replication in other communities.
St. Charles County is the catchment area for the grant and includes a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. According to the 2000 Census, St. Charles County has a population of 283,883, of which 29.9 percent is aged 18 years and under. Proportionately, this is the second largest concentration of child and youth population in the State. The population of St. Charles County grew 48 percent in the 1980s and another 48 percent in the 1990s. Of significance with this growth trend is the increase in the number of one-parent families, reported cases of child abuse, children placed in out-of-home care, the number of children living in poverty, and the number of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Lack of affordable housing also has been identified as a major problem in the county. The catchment area has a majority White population (94.69 percent), with 2.69 percent African-Americans, 1.47 percent Hispanics, and less than 1 percent each of Asians, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders. As of February 2004, 101 children and their families were actively receiving services from PWF. All but 41 of the 363 children and families served since the beginning of the grant period have been White. These 41 include 15 African-American, 7 Hispanic, 2 Asian, 14 biracial children, and 3 listed as Other.