FamilyForward started in 2017, after two of St. Louis non-profits, Children’s Home Society of Missouri and Family Resource Center, merged.
In the last year, the agency has been able to grow.
The latest expansion has two new buildings spanning 9.5 acres and it’s located at the intersection of North Lindbergh and Dorsett.
In September, the Developmental Trauma Center opened and the Early Childhood Center with a therapeutic preschool opened this month.
“We knew we could do it best if we integrated all of our services into one campus,” Dederer said.
The Developmental Trauma Center focuses on kids 6 to 19 years old.
The Early Childhood Center works with children 3 to 5 years old.
Both places offer therapy, education classes for parents and even occupational therapy.
Dederer said they wanted to position themselves in a better space to serve.
“Looking on this area, we were looking at something easily accessible for clients in the community and in their communities where they don’t have to travel to a different location,” she said.
Dederer said with the pandemic, they’ve seen more cases of abuse and neglect.
She said with this growth, FamilyForward will be able to serve 3,000 children with complex trauma by 2025.
This would double the numbers from 2021.
Some statistics from FamilyForward:
- One in seven children has experienced abuse and/or neglect in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- In 2021, 16,984 children in the St. Louis area were reported to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, marking a nearly 24% increase from 2019 reports according to the Missouri Department of Social Services.
The campus project was funded in several ways.
FamilyForward was one of seven St. Louis County organizations whose proposal was chosen for ARPA funding. The proposal could provide up to $800,000 in funds from St. Louis County.