On May 22, 2015, KVC Health Systems leaders along with donors, partners, families, community leaders and media representatives will celebrate the opening of the new KVC Institute for Practice Improvement and Innovations in Child and Family Services in Olathe, Kan. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The KVC Institute’s hub is a $7-million facility, funded entirely by private gifts, which is adjoined to the organization’s corporate offices and houses approximately 150 of KVC’s 1,300 child welfare and behavioral healthcare staff. KVC provides in-home family therapy, foster care, adoption, youth substance abuse treatment and children’s psychiatric hospitals in Kansas and other states.
The KVC Institute will work to transform the experience of childhood and significantly improve the wellbeing of children, families and communities. It will focus on developing creative solutions to complex social problems, and translate research into practice by developing practical learning tools for direct service providers, educators and families. By accelerating research and the implementation of evidence-informed practices, the KVC Institute will play a key role in strengthening families, healing children who have experienced trauma, improving the foster care system, enhancing the health of those with mental health needs, and creating a brighter future for people across the country and beyond. (See video here.)
Some of the Institute’s features include:
- Wellness/Simulation Rooms – dedicated to interactive therapies with children and families and hands-on training for professionals using state-of the-art technology including small cameras, microphones and recording equipment in simulations and training with parents and behavioral healthcare/child welfare professionals.
- Interactive Family & Adoption Center – the first and only center of its kind devoted to matching thousands more children in foster care with adoptive families using video recording equipment, teleconferencing and social media.
- Learning Communities – networks of professionals across KVC communities, as well as external researchers, to create and/ or adapt the most effective treatment approaches.
- Expanded Ball Conference Center – from which to disperse proven practices and evidence-based modalities to local professionals and others around the nation and world through conferences and distance learning.
Major donors to KVC’s Building Families Campaign which resulted in the KVC Institute include the Ball Family, Mabee Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Sunderland Foundation, Kelly Family Foundation, Regnier Family Foundation, Dunn Family Foundation, Garmin International, Goppert Foundation, Sosland Foundation and the H&R Block Foundation. See the full list of donors here.
Creating the KVC Institute is a natural next step for KVC Health Systems, an international leader known for its track record of innovation in child welfare and behavioral healthcare. Some of the achievements that qualify KVC for this endeavor include keeping 94% percent of families safely together without disruption to foster care by providing high-quality, in-home family preservation services; caring for 95% of children in foster care in family homes as opposed to group settings; safely reducing the average length of stay for children in residential treatment to about 80 days, as compared to 9-12 months in other states; and recognition as a national leader and trainer in integrating trauma-informed care into child welfare and related systems.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony includes a reception at 8:45 a.m. and a brief program at 9:00 a.m., followed by self-guided walking tours of the new space. To learn more and RSVP, visit www.kvc.org/institute.
About KVC Health Systems, Inc.
KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that enriches and enhances the lives of over 50,000 children and families each year by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. KVC’s diverse continuum of services includes foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, behavioral healthcare, and children’s psychiatric hospitals. In its 45-year history, KVC has grown since from a single Kansas home for boys to a national organization serving tens of thousands of children in five states. Learn more at www.kvc.org.