Missouri KidsFirst originates with the Child Advocacy Center movement. Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) are community-based, child-aware organizations that provide services to children suspected of being sexually abused or seriously physically abused. CACs have fundamentally altered the care and response provided to children who have suffered abuse and their non-offending family members. The core services of CACs include forensic interviews, sexual assault forensic medical evaluations, advocacy and mental health treatment. Numbered first among the many great things CACs provide is healing–CACs help children and families heal from abuse.

In 2005, the Executive Directors of the fifteen regional CACs formed and incorporated Missouri KidsFirst as a 501 (c)3 organization. After its formation, Missouri KidsFirst served as the statewide association for Missouri’s CACs, coordinating state and federal funding, providing training and technical assistance to child protection professionals and pushing for sound public policy.

In 2007 and 2008, Missouri KidsFirst slowly expanded its mission to include child abuse prevention. Missouri KidsFirst is now the state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America.

Today, Missouri KidsFirst primarily leads and supports communities in abuse prevention, provides training to multi-disciplinary team members engaged in child protection, and advocates public policies that address and prevent child abuse.