Child Safety is Our First Priority at KVC

At KVC child safety is our first priority

Protecting children and keeping kids safe is the heart of our work at KVC. When families are in crisis due to family challenges or have significant mental health needs, caring KVC professionals step in for the very purpose of safety. Our track record on child safety is why state child welfare agencies across the U.S. trust us to care for tens of thousands of children and families each year.

Our Child Safety Track Record

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. We offer one of the nation’s broadest continuums of care, from the least intensive services like family strengthening prevention and education, to the most intensive services like inpatient children’s mental health treatment.

Every KVC program and service measures child safety and wellbeing.

Nationally, KVC is:

  • Exceeding all state and federal performance outcomes for child safety across programs: inpatient children’s mental health treatment, residential treatment, and community-based programs like foster care and family strengthening prevention.
  • Accredited by The Joint Commission, a gold seal for health care quality and patient safety.
  • Trusted by state social services agencies in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and has provided consultation to child welfare agencies in Washington, D.C.; Hennepin Co, MN; Fairfax County, VA; Singapore and others (learn more).
  • Recognized for the results of a five-year study with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and others showing that KVC’s trauma-informed care creates positive outcomes (learn more).

At the state and local level:

  • KVC Kansas: We play a significant role in the Kansas child welfare system, providing foster care case management in 11 counties and recruiting, licensing, and supporting more loving foster family homes statewide than any other organization. The Kansas foster care system is safe, and in fact safer than most other U.S. states. We know this through data on the Maltreatment in Foster Care report. This report is used by all state foster care systems to measure their performance on the #1 safety outcome of the federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs). In fact, KVC Kansas has the #1 safest catchment area of the state (Area 3). Learn more about KVC Kansas.
  • Camber Children’s Mental Health: We provide children’s inpatient mental health and residential treatment at our three Camber Children’s Mental Health Centers in Kansas. Our services are designed to ensure safety for youth who are experiencing a mental health crisis or otherwise have elevated needs. Learn more about Camber Children’s Mental Health.
  • KVC Missouri: We provide a range of community-based, educational, and children’s residential treatment services from over 20 locations. All services are designed to ensure child and family safety and wellbeing. As just one example, at the end of our Intensive In-Home Services, we are able to safely maintain 89% of youth in their family home.  Learn more about KVC Missouri.
  • KVC Kentucky: We are the state’s largest provider of foster care prevention services, called Family First Prevention and Reunification Services. We stabilize families in crisis and provide therapy. Our goal is that 92% of youth in a family’s home will safely remain in the family home at the end of our services, and 90% will remain safely in the home at 12 months post discharge. We are exceeding these goals at 94% and 97%, respectively. Learn more about KVC Kentucky.
  • KVC Nebraska: We provide a range of family strengthening, educational, mental health, foster care, substance use treatment, and developmental disability services in Nebraska. We’re proud to report that 100% of youth/individuals living with KVC-supported foster family and other caregiver homes are safe and free from substantiated abuse or neglect. Learn more about KVC Nebraska.
  • KVC West Virginia: We provide a range of family strengthening, mental health, and foster care services in West Virginia. Due to the ability of our professionals and foster families to keep children safe and help them heal from past trauma, 95% of youth in a foster home have gone to a lower level of care, such as a home, adoptive or relative setting. In addition, 99% of youth in a KVC foster home have not experienced any hospitalization or higher level of care as it relates to self-harm or suicidal ideation or intent. Learn more about KVC West Virginia.

How and Where to Report Abuse

Thank you for taking the first step in protecting children. For emergencies, call your local law enforcement agency or 911.

We encourage you to report suspected abuse or neglect to your state agency:

  • Kansas: Call the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330 or learn more here.
  • Missouri: Call the Missouri Department of Social Services’ hotline at 1-800-392-3738 or learn more here.
  • Kentucky: Call the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services at (877) 597-2331 or learn more here.
  • Nebraska: Call the Nebraska child abuse and neglect hotline at (800) 652-1999 or learn more here.
  • West Virginia: Call the WV Dept. of Health & Human Resources hotline at 1-800-352-6513 or learn more here. 

Safeguards in Place

We have dozens of safety policies, procedures, protocols, and other safeguards in place to protect children. These include:

  • Background checks – We require all employees and volunteers to undergo background checks.
  • Culture of safety – We create an agency-wide culture of safety through policies and procedures, as well as culture of employee engagement.
  • Mandatory reporting – KVC employees are required to immediately report any allegations of child abuse or neglect.
  • Third party experts – We engage with third-party safety experts for training and best practices. We also have a risk management firm that conducts audits and maintains a third-party hotline to report any misconduct.
  • Robust training – We train employees, foster families and other caregivers in areas like crisis intervention, de-escalation techniques, trauma-informed care, and recognizing warning signs for aggressive behavior. We also have cameras in all our fleet vehicles to monitor driving safety and conduct regular car seat safety trainings and checks.
  • National standards – We maintain comprehensive national and local policies and procedures for child protection. We implement these to ensure client safety, and they include but are not limited to policies related to screening every client for thoughts of self-harm, whistleblowing, client grievances, and investigating concerns.
  • Incident reporting – Using both custom-built and third-party software, employees are able to immediately report critical incidents, automatically notifying leaders and our state partners. This streamlined process helps ensure fast communication, transparency and safety.
  • Risk assessment – In our hospital and residential treatment centers, we plan for each patient’s safety upon admission.
  • Appropriate staffing – We ensure appropriate staff to youth ratios and provide patient monitoring and patient supervision based on each child’s level of need.
  • External reporting – We constantly report on our performance and outcomes to our external partners including state agencies, Medicaid managed care organizations, and private insurance companies.
  • Safety technology – In our highest levels of care, we ensure environmental safety such as using state-of-the-art technology like patient wandering system in rooms and security cameras in milieu spaces.
  • Medication safety – We manage youth medication to ensure patient safety (learn more).
  • Cutting-edge apps – We use a robust electronic health record (EHR) system as well as build our own CARE suite of applications, leveraging their capabilities to eliminate human error where possible.

Resources for Parents, Guardians, and Other Community Members

We’ve published hundreds of educational articles on how to prevent child abuse and neglect, and how to keep children safe. Learn more:

Resources for Children & Youth

Your childhood and teen years should be marked by safety, love, connection, learning, and growth. But that’s not the case for all children. Adverse childhood experiences including abuse, neglect and family dysfunction can seriously impact your development and your opportunity to have a bright future.

If you are experiencing any kind of abuse or neglect, we encourage you to speak up to a trusted adult such as a relative, a friend’s parent, teacher, coach, or neighbor. You can also self-report to your state using the phone numbers above in the How and Where to Report Abuse section.

We also encourage you to check out these resources from Childhelp, a project supported by the U.S. Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Childhelp offers:

  • Articles on topics like toxic stress, gaslighting, coping skills, and more
  • Answers to FAQs like “How do I know if I’m being emotionally abused?” and “Can I live with my friend’s parents or other family?”
  • Mental health apps for your phone or other devices

Success Stories of Children and Families We Served

Each year, we help thousands of children, older youth, and families find the safety, connection, and support they need to thrive. Check out some of the people whose lives have been transformed with the help of KVC professionals and caregiver families.

Robin was Once a Girl in Foster Care, Now She’s a Registered Nurse [VIDEO]

Read how Robin took control of her destiny, choosing to defy the statistics about children in foster care rather than be defined by them.

 

Family Reunification | Couple Brings Children Home with Help from Loving Foster Parents [VIDEO]

After experiencing several hardships, a couple’s children had to enter foster care. Learn about the hurdles they overcame to safely reunify.

 

Sierra's storySierra’s Story of Hope, Healing and Resilience [VIDEO]

Growing up, Sierra was abused, neglected and never felt safe in her own home. Her foster parents have been instrumental in helping her heal and experience the love and support she deserves.

 

Dreams Do Come True: Four Teen Siblings Adopted by Loving Family

Four brothers and sisters needed a forever family. Thankfully, the perfect family was looking for them. Read this heartwarming teen adoption story.