PITTSBURG, Ks. — Roughly 10 years ago a program was established by the Crawford County community that has worked to give these children their best life.
Now, the program is looking for a way to expand its reach to help at-risk children all over Southeast Kansas.
“We didn’t realize how big it would become,” says Ann Elliott, The Family Resource Center Executive Director, “We want children to stay in the home.”
Back in 2012 a group of ladies in Pittsburg noticed the Pittsburg Police were making several return visits to at-risk homes, sometimes resulting in children needing to be taken away from their parents.
Wanting to help fix the problem a new partnership was formed.
“With the collaboration of the city, the Pittsburg Police Department and The Family Resource Center, we wrote a grant through the Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund for the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program,” says Elliott.
Since then the community and family response advocates have been working to keep Crawford County children in their homes.
Elliott says, “They help develop strong families so that those families of at-risk children can stay together.”
“We reach out to other communities for help and support,” says Reva Meadows, Family Response Advocate, “We use Catholic Charities, we use Wesley House, Salvation Army, anybody that can help do what the family needs.”
Even after eight years of operations, the program continues to grow.
Soon it will be covering other counties in Southeast Kansas.
“KU wrote a grant and it’s ‘Family Strong’ and what that’s going to do is that it’s going to take this program into four other counties,” says Elliott, “We’ll define it on our meeting on Wednesday.”
Keeping families together for years to come.
Elliott says, “They serve at least 100 families a year.”
“It just keeps growing and growing and growing,” says Diann Gambill, Family Response Advocate, “So we are expanding on so many other families to be able to help, to be able to provide, and say ‘Hey we’re here to help.'”