Niles Home has been a safe haven
for children since 1883, when Samuel Eason, an African-American bricklayer,
began caring for homeless and orphaned children he found in his neighborhood
near the historic 18th and Vine area. In 1896, the organization was
incorporated under the name of the “Colored People’s Charity Association.”
When Samuel Eason began caring for homeless children in his 18th and Vine neighborhood in 1883, he began a legacy of rebuilding lives and renewing hope for vulnerable children and families which continues to this day at Niles Home for Children (Niles Home). Niles Home is now celebrating 133 years of service to Kansas City children and families.
At Niles Home, we continue to identify opportunities to better serve children and families in our community, many impacted by trauma from abuse, neglect, abandonment and exposure to violence. Our clinical department observed increased acuity of symptoms in children we serve, stemming from trauma. Niles Home completed agency-wide training in trauma-informed care and opened a trauma comfort room. Trauma-informed care asks the question “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?” We now have a trauma-centered framework for therapeutic treatment and support services that promotes healing and resiliency in the children we serve. Furthermore, we are implementing additional therapeutic assessment tools to ensure we are collecting the most complete data for measuring client progress as it pertains to their trauma symptoms.
Niles is the only youth-focused residential treatment facility remaining in the urban core and fulfills an otherwise unmet, growing community need. Currently, Niles has the capacity to serve 32 children in Residential Treatment.
UPDATE: Niles entered into a partnership with KVC Health Systems, Inc. after determining a partnership would better position Niles to enhance the quality of programs, while achieving fiscal responsibility for years to come. As a result of the KVC/Niles partnership, Niles will consistently offer higher-quality behavioral health services, recruit and retain well-qualified staff and potentially expand community services.
Niles has maintained its name and 501(c)(3) status, as well as its legacy of serving the urban core at its current location. Niles will operate as a separate nonprofit within the KVC Health Systems brand; support services such as Human Resources, Information Technology, communications, development and accounting will be managed by KVC.
The Niles Residential Program was placed on a temporary hiatus, which allowed the leadership to focus on partnership opportunities. Residential services will reopen in phases beginning February of 2017. Initially, capacity will be limited due to the concurrent dorm renovation project. The Niles/KVC partnership is transforming all facets of Niles’ residential treatment program. New policies and procedures have been developed; job descriptions and salary scales have been updated; training has been launched on topics such as Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Initial Safe Crisis Management (SCM) and annual re-certifications for Safe Crisis Management (SCM), First Aid and CPR.
Niles has hired a new vice president of Program Services whose previous responsibility was overseeing clinical and outreach services for KVC Prairie Ridge. Additionally, Niles’ newly hired director of residential services successfully led the residential treatment program at KVC. Both are providing leadership in the rebuilding and reopening of Niles’ Residential Treatment program.
Residential Treatment: Children in Residential Treatment live in a
safe and caring setting and receive 24-hour care on a 1:5 staffing ratio. The majority of children served are in the
care and custody of the Children’s Division, having been removed from their
homes for their own safety and treatment. Children are often victims of abuse,
neglect and abandonment, and are severely traumatized when they arrive. Nearly
all suffer from emotional challenges. The goal of the Residential Treatment
Program is to prepare children to return home or move to a less restrictive
environment (i.e. foster home, adoption, group home). Children receive
psychiatric services, medical services, and individual, family and group
therapy. Trained residential technicians provide solid support and consistency
on a daily basis.
In a safe and caring environment, children will overcome severe trauma and learn to interact with others in a healthy manner.
Of the 75 unduplicated children served during the FY14-15 program year, 80% (n=60) demonstrated progress toward treatment plan goals and reduced or eliminated episodes of chronic dysfunctional behavior.
Day Treatment (Niles Prep): Niles Prep serves children grades k-12 whose
difficulties with emotional and behavioral regulation keep them from succeeding
in conventional classrooms. Many come
from backgrounds that include experiences with poverty and exposure directly or
indirectly to violence (home and/or community). Niles Prep combines individual
and group therapy with academic remediation in small classes (a 1:5
adult/student ratio). The objective is to prepare the student academically for
a successful return to his/her originating school, while the therapeutic and
behavioral counseling sessions help the child and his/her family learn
appropriate behavior and problem-solving skills.
Over the course of the academic year for students in Day Treatment:
For the 2014-2015 Academic Year, of the 7 students discharged during the year, 6 made at least moderate progress toward treatment plan goals. Of the 26 served during the academic year, 23 demonstrated fewer undesirable behaviors (reductions in number incident reports for property damage, running away and/or physical aggression).
Prevention/Treatment: Substance Abuse Prevention/Treatment provides services to
youth identified as high risk for drug use based on family history of substance
abuse, early experimentation or use, lack of healthy role modeling, and
problems in school or juvenile delinquency. Treatment services are for children already using substances by the time
they arrive at Niles Home. Services are
provided by a certified substance abuse counselor and include weekly individual
sessions and group sessions. The goal of
this program is for youth to abstain completely from the use of alcohol,
tobacco and illicit drugs.
Parent Empowerment provides classes to approximately 60 community-based parents annually, helping parents become knowledgeable about mental, emotional, and behavioral issues and increasing the use of alternative strategies to harsh and abusive disciplinary practice. The program is offered four times per year, each covering an 8 week duration, and includes a meal and child care to make the program accessible to families.
As a result of the program:
The evidence-based Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) tool complements the established curriculum (Parenting The Love and Logic Way). AAPI allows the facilitator to work more effectively with participating parents with issues related to parental thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions (as it relates to discipline, communication, negative/positive attitudes, and level of violence experienced by parents). The AAPI tool ensures the Love and Logic curriculum is addressing the greatest needs within the group. The responses given in post-test indicated a reduction in risk-factors associated with child abuse and neglect and a strengthening of family units.
For the 2014-2015 program year, 74% demonstrated at least a 1 point improvement in at least 2 of the 5 constructs on the AAPI.
Rita Holmes-Bobo serves as President of Niles Home for Children, which provides behavioral health services to at-risk, underserved youth and their families.
Holmes-Bobo has focused on stabilizing financial aspects of Niles; increasing community support; ensuring Niles employees are committed to excellence in the delivery of services; and pursuing funding for a renovation project.
Prior to Niles she served as director of communications and public relations for Ameren Missouri where she led the creation and implementation of a strategic, integrated, award-winning communications program designed to strengthen Ameren Missouri’s reputation as a performance leader.
Ms. Holmes-Bobo served as a vice president in Fleishman-Hillard’s healthcare practice group. And as a key member of the Public Affairs team for Express Scripts, where she leveraged strategic media outreach to strengthen corporate reputation; managed specialty pharmacy legislative advocacy communication; developed responses to marketplace issues; and created community engagement programs to align community needs and corporate objectives.
She has worked for the American Cancer Society and Regional Medical Center, a safety net hospital for the poor. Additionally, Holmes-Bobo has managed the communications function for the largest school district in the state of Missouri.
Ms. Holmes-Bobo is a dedicated University of Kansas Alumnae (MBA and bachelor of science degree in business administration) and has served as a guest lecturer for several classes. She also serves on the KU School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board.
Her service to the community demonstrates her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She is the board chair of the Second Chance Program, a re-entry program for formerly incarcerated individuals; and board chair of the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity. She also serves on the Kansas City Crime Commission and the Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies governance board.
In partnership with the Housing
Authority, the Niles Neighborhood Access to Healthy Foods Initiative is part of
the afterschool program at Clymer Community Center where Niles shares
nutritional information. Niles continues to set up a garden market on Monday
afternoons at the Clymer Center where fresh local produce is distributed to
residents in Theron B. Watkins and the surrounding area.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
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