Great Circle Expands Services Into Kansas To Strengthen Families

Family First Prevention Services Act’s Grants Fund Home Visiting

(St. Louis – October 3, 2019) – Great Circle, one of Missouri’s largest behavioral health services nonprofits, is expanding its services for the first time into Kansas to help strengthen vulnerable children and families. The expansion is supported through the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which provides federal grants to states to prevent the need for foster care.

On Tuesday, October 1, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced Great Circle as one of 18 child- and family-focused agencies selected by the state to deliver a wide range of services in the areas of mental health, substance use disorders, parent skill-building and kinship navigation. Of the $13 million in funding announced Tuesday, Great Circle was awarded two grants, totaling about $1.3 million, to provide home visiting services beginning by 2020 to Kansas families.

The focus is on promoting child well-being, providing therapy to and nurturing families to lead productive and healthy lifestyles, and cultivating community partnerships that foster ongoing support to families. Already Missouri’s largest provider of home visiting services using the Healthy Families America model, Great Circle will employ the nationally recognized evidence-based model to help parents or caregivers of children, birth to age 5, who live in these 16 Kansas counties: Anderson, Atchison, Brown, Chautauqua, Coffey, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Linn, Marshall, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee and Woodson.

“We are very excited to bring our expertise to Kansas and be part of the state’s commitment to strengthening families and reducing the number of children going into foster care,” said Paula Fleming, Great Circle’s interim president/CEO. “We know that working ‘upstream’ to connect individuals with support and services before a crisis happens is the best way to strengthen children and families.”

Great Circle, which serves nearly 45,000 children and families each year, has been active in the Kansas City, Missouri area for more than five years, focusing largely on foster care case management and home visiting in several Missouri counties. Great Circle also operates a specialized school, Great Circle Academy, in Independence. The education program provides a fully accredited K-12 curriculum and therapeutic support for about 20 children, in collaboration with several area school districts.

Great Circle’s FFPSA grants are divided into two regions. The Kansas City region (Atchison and Douglas counties) will serve about 100 families. The East Kansas region (remaining 14 counties) will serve nearly 300 families.

Families will be referred to Great Circle by Kansas’ Department of Children and Families through its regional offices. Great Circle will employ an additional 18 staff members to serve Kansas families, and will open regional offices in the state, location to be determined.

“At Great Circle, our commitment to trauma-informed care and use of evidence-based practices to deliver a broad continuum of behavioral health services enables us to meet the children and families where they are in life and then help them become the best version of themselves,” said Fleming. “That’s because we believe the family unit is the most important element in our communities, and when there are measures in place to strengthen our families, the entire community benefits.”