To Strengthen Children’s Mental Health, KVC Missouri & Great Circle Finalize Agreement to Integrate
KVC Missouri and Great Circle, two nonprofits with a shared mission to provide high-quality children’s mental health and family services, have finalized the agreement that will guide their integration. On April 1, Great Circle’s nearly 800 employees will become part of KVC. The expanded KVC Missouri team will serve thousands of families each year, offering preventative family strengthening services, foster care, children’s mental health treatment, educational academies, and other services from 20 locations including Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield.
“The combined strength of KVC Missouri and Great Circle is a win for the state because it expands children’s and families’ access to care at a time when needs are increasing,” said Lindsey Stephenson, President of KVC Missouri. “KVC has a track record of serving children with the most complex needs and for solving states’ health and human service agency challenges with innovation. Great Circle has a long history, broad community of supporters, and a passion for serving families. Our teams have been collaborating closely for months to create a statewide organization that will be known as a trusted provider and partner.”
KVC Missouri is part of KVC Health Systems, a family of nonprofits leading the way in mental health and child welfare. “This restructuring brings the Great Circle legacy into a nationally-networked organization,” said Jason Hooper, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems. “It will elevate best practices to and from other states; and it will help shape the state of Missouri into a national leader in outcomes. We can truly transform the face of foster care and mental health.”
Across Missouri, children’s mental health needs are on the rise. Depression, anxiety, and trauma and stress-related disorders are increasing. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10–18-year-old youth, and mental-health-related visits to hospital emergency rooms have risen significantly.
KVC Missouri hopes to be part of the solution. The organization is in the early stages of imagining new possibilities for creating first-class children’s mental health treatment centers in St. Louis and elsewhere.
KVC Missouri will also transform its collective services into a purposeful, connected system of care that serves as a statewide safety net for children and families. This could alleviate pressure on hospital ERs and the child welfare system and surround families experiencing difficult times with caring support.
“Prevention is the future, and we have a sense of urgency about creating that future now,” said Lindsey Stephenson. “Child welfare systems must evolve into child and family wellbeing systems, and children’s mental health treatment must be as accessible as ERs and urgent care clinics. This is what motivates our team every day to wake up and give our best. The heart of our work is helping people and inspiring hope.”
“Our relationship began 18 months ago with a general discussion about how we might partner on a single program, and it has evolved into a shared vision for a world in which every person is safe and connected to a strong family and a healthy community,” said Paula Fleming, President and CEO of Great Circle. “We look eagerly to the future as part of an expanded KVC Missouri, and the possibilities it brings.”
More About the Organizations
KVC Missouri is a nonprofit that strengthens families, prevents child abuse and neglect, and helps people achieve mental health wellness. Its flagship location, KVC Niles in Kansas City, has a strong 140-year legacy as it was founded when Samuel Eason began caring for homeless children in 1883. The organization became Niles Home for Children and then joined KVC Health Systems in 2017. KVC Missouri’s services include family strengthening prevention, day treatment (K-12 school), children’s mental health services ranging from intensive outpatient to residential treatment, treatment foster care, and foster parent training. Learn more at www.kvcmissouri.org.
KVC Missouri’s parent organization, KVC Health Systems, is a family of private, nonprofit organizations that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help people achieve mental health wellness. After welcoming the Great Circle team, KVC will have approximately 2,400 professionals nationwide across more than 60 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, and West Virginia. KVC has positively impacted the lives of over 300,000 people in its 50+ year history of providing heart-centered service. To learn more, visit www.kvc.org.
Great Circle is a behavioral health nonprofit that provides a wide variety of services to give a brighter future to children and youth and to strengthen families through its campuses and community offices. Great Circle was formed in 2009 by the merger of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children’s Center with the goal to help those struggling with difficult circumstances and to be a partner in our communities to provide that resource. Great Circle has 800 highly trained employees dedicated to serving children and families across seven regions. We reached the lives of over 27,000 children, youth, and families in 2021. To learn more about Great Circle, visit www.greatcircle.org.
Jenny Kutz, KVC Health Systems