How is MKF working to prevent child abuse?

Missouri KidsFirst believes in utilizing research-informed practices and evidence based programs to prevent child abuse and neglect in Missouri.  We do this by using the CDC’s Essentials for Childhood, the CDC’s technical package to prevent child abuse and neglect, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families/Protective Factors framework to help guide us in building the comprehensive foundation of safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments in our state that all children and families need to thrive. We work with individuals, communities and state wide leaders to help create the healthy cultural context for all adults to understand the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect. We advocate for policies that increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. We train adults, youth serving professionals, and community members to gain the critical child protection skills needed to prevent child abuse and neglect from ever happening, as well as strengthening interventions and responses when child abuse and neglect does occur to prevent further abuse.

Pinwheels for Prevention Program: Missouri KidsFirst (Prevent Child Abuse Missouri) leads child abuse prevention month activities in April with the Pinwheels for Prevention awareness campaign. The Pinwheel has come to represent the happy, healthy childhoods we want for all of our children. Throughout April, planting pinwheel gardens in honor of children in communities throughout our state demonstrates how we can all support great childhoods and promote ways to help great childhoods happen. The more we can show people how simple actions relate back to child abuse prevention, the better people will understand what prevention is in the first place, and the greater the chance that adults will take action to protect children in their lives. We provide assistance to others committed to preventing child abuse and neglect by providing resources, education and technical assistance for the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program: Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® Missouri KidsFirst (Prevent Child Abuse Missouri) leads the Missouri Stewards of Children Initiative and the Missouri Stewards of Children Facilitator Network.

Since 2008, Missouri KidsFirst has been committed to training adults in the Stewards of Children® child sexual abuse prevention training. We passionately believe in the Stewards of Children® training because it is the only nationally available, community based, evidence informed training where training participants have consistently demonstrated increased knowledge, improved attitudes and, most importantly, positive changes in child-protective behaviors.

At Missouri KidsFirst, we believe there is a “tipping point”, a point at which momentum is unstoppable and a cultural shift occurs to protect every child from sexual abuse. In order to reach that tipping point in our state, we have a goal of training at least 5% of Missouri’s adult population. We also train and support Missouri’s Network of Stewards of Children® Facilitators.

Missouri Stewards of Children Facilitators Network
The Network was established to prevent child sexual abuse by provide a supportive environment where statewide Stewards of Children facilitators can collaborate, share experiences, skills and passion for protecting children. The Network is the foundation that will ignite a statewide prevention effort and help us train 5% of the adult population in Missouri; therefore, reaching the “Tipping Point” (illustrated in the map below) needed to create social change around child protective behaviors.

Our Vision: Every child is safe from sexual abuse, because every adult knows how to protect all children.

Our Mission: To empower, encourage and coordinate our facilitators to arm adults with the skills and tools necessary to protect all children from sexual abuse.

MAP: Number of adults trained per county in Missouri and percentage of county tipping point achieved. Contact information for active facilitators and the counties they train are listed below.

Contact a facilitator nearest you to schedule a training for the adults in your community.

Active Facilitators

Cherisse Thibaut
Missouri KidsFirst

Train Statewide

Liz Eisenberger
St. Louis City

Mary Taylor
Livingston County Health Center

660 646 5508
Livingston and bordering counties.

Kelly Schultz
Office of Child Advocate

573 522 8686

Angela Owings
Springfield-Greene County Health Department

417 864 1815

Emily Pogue
Whole Health Outreach
Reynolds, Carter, Iron, Shannon, Wayne and surrounding areas

Jillian Anderson
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

636 949 7355
St. Charles County, St. Louis Metro Area

Joy Oesterly
Missouri KidsFirst

573 632 4600

Haleigh Harrold
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault

816 285 1378
Jackson, Cass, Clay, Platte, Wyandotte, Johnson, Miami

Grant Rummerfield
St. Louis County Police

St. Louis County

Becca Anderson
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault

Jackson, Cass, Clay, Platte, Wyandotte, Johnson

Nancy Corley
The Alliance of Southwest Missouri

The Alliance of Southwest Missouri
Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald

Shannon Ponzar
Creative Expressions Learning Center

Linda Shaw
St. Louis University

314 268 2700 ext 327
St. Louis and surrounding counties

Annie Wilson
Missouri KidsFirst

573 632 4600
Cole and surrounding central Missouri counties

Beth Douglas
The Alliance of SWMO

McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton

Stacey Stalnaker
St. Louis Children’s Hospital

St. Louis County, St. Charles , St. Peters

Emilia Mense Caby
Synergy Services Inc.
Clay, Platte, Ray, Jackson

Patrice Mugg

 Empowering Mandated Reporters Program:

Although we would like to prevent child abuse and neglect from ever occurring, we believe that adults must also be educated and empowered to recognize and react responsibly to child abuse.  Missouri KidsFirst manages Missouri’s Child Abuse and Neglect, Mandated Reporter Training (free and online). We also provide in person mandated training to organizations for a fee.

Missouri KidsFirst is not a 24-hour service provider and does not provide crisis services.

For immediate help, please call Missouri’s Statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-800-392-3738

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Contact Us

520 Dix Road, Suite C
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone: 573-632-4600