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Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 1997, $923,645)

Safe Kids/Safe Streets is a research-based demonstration program that seeks to reduce juvenile delinquency by helping break the cycle of child and adolescent abuse and neglect. This demonstration program encourages localities to restructure and strengthen the criminal and juvenile justice systems to be more comprehensive and proactive in helping children and adolescents and their families who have been or are at risk of being abused and neglected. The program seeks to answer the question of whether a combination of systems reform, training, prevention education, data management and continuum of services strategies can measurably improve child safety and well being.

This demonstration project is based on the Cycle of Violence research (conducted by Cathy Spatz Widom with funding from NIJ) that shows the association between early abuse and/or neglect as a child and later delinquency and criminality. The program design and management structure was informed by an extensive series of focus groups, surveys and discussions with researchers and practitioners from across the nation and was vetted by the major bureaus and offices of OJP and DHHS.

The Executive Office for Weed and Seed has been a partner in this project since 1997 and has provided funding to Kansas City, Missouri for the purpose of achieving child protection and coordination goals in an area that includes an officially recognized Weed and Seed community. Kansas City KIDSAFE is administered by the Heart of America United Way, Kansas City. The KIDSAFE Project and the Kansas City Weed and Seed are interwoven and function collaboratively to achieve child protection goals of this demonstration project and to successfully implement a weed and seed strategy that includes law enforcement, community policing, prevention / intervention / treatment, and neighborhood restoration within the designated area.

Kansas City KIDSAFE is designed to reduce child abuse and neglect in Kansas City Missouri's highest child abuse/neglect prevalence neighborhoods while improving coordination, intervention, and adjudication capacity of public sector agencies. The jurisdictions covered by the Kansas City KIDSAFE initiative are the city of Kansas City, Missouri and Jackson County, Missouri. Kansas City occupies parts of four counties, but 77% of its population, all of its most impoverished neighborhoods, and the bulk of its racial and ethnic minority residents lie within Jackson County. The overall target area for Kansas City KIDSAFE comprises five central city zip codes -- 64106, 64108, 64124, 64127, and 64128, which includes a designated Weed and Seed community and serves as the target area for the community-based prevention and intervention activities.

KIDSAFE's planning efforts and implementation are steered by four Public Service Partners comprised of the Division of Family Services, Family Court, Kansas City Police Department, and the Prosecutor's Office. Relationships with service providers and the community have been strengthened through Neighborhood Services Initiatives, collaboration between the Kansas City Weed and Seed site and KIDSAFE, and participation on numerous task forces and subcommittees in the community.


Date Created: June 3, 1997