Steppingstone - a Program of Evangelical Children's Home
5100 Noland Rd
Kansas City MO 64133-2610
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 356-0187
Fax 816- 356-4172
Mission Statement
Partnering with the community to assist children, youth, and their families in their individual quest for health and wholeness through quality, faithful, professional services.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael P Brennan
Board Chair Ms. Shari Smith
Board Chair Company Affiliation Vehicle Assurance
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1858
Former Names
Evangelical Children's Home
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Donations can be mailed to our Kansas City office, and online donations can be made at In-kind items and volunteer opportunities vary, so please contact the Steppingstone office directly for a list of current needs and opportunities.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Partnering with the community to assist children, youth, and their families in their individual quest for health and wholeness through quality, faithful, professional services.
Background Statement
ECH Every Child's was founded in 1858, in a St. Louis church basement as a shelter for children orphaned by the cholera epidemic. Over the years, ours services have evolved to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community. Today, ECH serves abused, neglected and emotionally troubled children and their families in St. Louis and Kansas City. Our programs emphasize that all individuals are responsible for their own actions and that they can learn to change attitudes and behaviors by learning about their self-identity. Through our services many youth have become emotionally stable and healthy.
Our presence in Kansas City began in 1978 when ECH responded to a need identified by area churches for a residential treatment facility for girls. In 1990, realizing Kansas City lacked a transitional living programs for older teens, ECH added the Steppingstone Transitional Living Program for teens ages 15 to 21. The following year, a second group home was added to the campus and the program began to serve both boys and girls. In 1997, ECH closed the residential treatment program on the Kansas City campus to focus on providing quality transitional living services through the Steppingstone Program.
In 2018 Steppingstone received funding from two new sources. Steppingstone received funding from the Jackson County Children's Service Fund to provide temporary shelter and transitional living services to youth. Additionally, the program was awarded a three-year federal grant for $200,000 per year to provide transitional living services to youth ages 16 to 21.  
Impact Statement

During the last year, Steppingstone: 

  1. Served 122 homeless and at-risk youth in the Kansas City area.
  2. Provided 12,387 days of care to youth.
  3. Supported 74.7% of youth in preparing for independence (e.g. education, employment, income, housing, etc.) prior to exiting the program.
  4. 76.8% of youth were discharged with a positive change between residence prior to admission and residence at discharge (less restrictive settings).
For the upcoming year, Steppingstone would like to:
  1. Diversify Steppingstone’s program funding.
  2. Increase capacity to serve more youth in order to meet the growing need for our services.
Needs Statement

Steppingstone is in need of the following:

  1. Installation of a CCTV camera surveillance system on the south end of campus.
  2. Operational support for programs and services
  3. Refinish hardwood floors in dining room area of girls living facility
  4. Landscaping around the campus administrative building
Service Categories
Residential Mental Health Treatment
Group Homes
Family Services (Adolescent Parents)
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
At Steppingstone, board members and the senior management team have long histories with the agency, which allows for a management style that has the perspective to think and act for the good of children and the agency long-term. We always try to be proactive rather than reactive. We are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our programs to make sure we are best meeting the needs of the children and families we serve.
The greatest challenge the agency faces is keeping up with the constant change in the external environment. Changes in state and federal laws and regulations, as well as the health of other agencies, can have a huge impact on our agency. As a board, we are proud of the involvement of our staff in conversations and negotiations at the federal, state, and local level around a host of issues important in our industry. Especially important for our Kansas City Steppingstone program is the role that former Steppingstone Director Duane Lewis has played teaching outcome measurements to colleagues who receive federal funding in the region. We are excited about the prospect of agencies using standardized measurements so we can all better judge our effectiveness. Also important has been his work on behalf of all Missouri agencies through the Missouri Child Care Alliance in negotiating new contracts with the State.
The other issue we deal with as a board is balancing the current financial needs and the use and investment of our reserve funds so that we can continue to care for children long into the future. The Board of Directors is extremely proud of the staff and programs in both Kansas City and St. Louis. We believe our programs are among the very best available for troubled children, youth, and families. 
Description Transitional living program prepares youth for life as responsible adults by a safe, supervised living environment, case management and education assistance, life skills assessment and training, mental health assessments and treatment, and mentoring. Youth in the Steppingstone program are referred either through the child welfare system or privately. Youth in the program are homeless or at-risk youth who need a safe place to live while they learn the life skills and emotional maturity to live as successful self reliant adults.
Program Budget $1,582,836.00
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities, Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults
Short-Term Success
  1. At least 75% of Steppingstone youth will be exit the program into a less restrictive living environment. 
  2. At least 80% of youth increase in life skills necessary for independent living.
Long-Term Success Steppingstone youth (ages 15-21) successfully transition from adolescence into adulthood and live healthy, self-sufficient lives as contributing members of the community.
Program Success Monitored By
We track each youth's individual progress towards their goals related to independent living. Using tools such as the Daniel Memorial Evaluation of Life Skills and the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment, we are able to help the youth develop and refine their life skills. Most youth also complete annual surveys,which help us to know how to improve the program for tomorrow's youth.
At the program level, we track agency-wide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a scoring system that assesses financial, human resources, safety, utilization, client satisfaction, and program specific outcome indicators. The KPI system helps Steppingstone management understand the status and health of the program.
Examples of Program Success

The Steppingstone Transitional Living Program includes housing, employment and educational support, case management, independent living skills training, therapy services, physical and mental healthcare assistance, etc. Upon time of discharge, youth in the program have typically improved their ability to live independently in the community compared from the time they arrived. Approximately 90% are discharged to a less restrictive setting.

Some specific examples are:

  • In the last year, 3 out of every 4 of our youth improved their overall functioning related to characteristics that improve their ability to be successful in adult independent living such as school enrollment, employment, transportation, income, housing, and reduction of risk factors.
  • Youth obtained their diploma or passed their high school equivalency test. They are enrolled in college or a vocational school.
  • Youth have learned how to apply for jobs and maintain employment for more than six months.
CEO Comments
The primary goal of Steppingstone’s Transitional Living Program is to help runaway and homeless youth between the ages of 16 to under 22 establish sustainable living and well-being for themselves and if applicable their dependent children. Many of the youth served by Steppingstone are aging out of the foster care system. Most all of them have experienced multiple traumatic events in their lifetime.
Steppingstone provides stable housing through structured group living, campus and community apartment living. Youth receive individualized case management services and are connected to mental health services to address trauma and other mental health issues. Staff encourages youth to embrace responsibility and control for their lives and assist them in the development of individual goals and objectives that address five areas: academic achievement, job readiness, community services and support, youth leadership and independent life skills training. The program provides services that are trauma-informed and based on the Positive Youth Development philosophy.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Michael P Brennan
Term Start Jan 1999
Experience Michael P. Brennan, Executive Director. Mr. Brennan has been with ECH since 1983 and is known for his outgoing personality and high energy level. He has served in the positions of social worker, program director, resident director and associate executive director. Mr. Brennan received his B.S.W., Magna cum Laude, and M.S.W. from St. Louis University. He has attended many workshops and seminars related to children's welfare and management and has made numerous presentations on dealing with children who are victims of abuse and neglect.
Former CEOs
Rev. Robert BaurJan 1982 - Dec 1998
Victor HaukJan 1949 - Dec 1981
Senior Staff
Title COO
Experience/Biography Duane Lewis, Chief Operating Officer and Former Director Kansas City Services, has been with ECH since 1983. He holds a Masters in Social Work from St. Louis University and has been with the organization in St. Louis and Kansas City for over twenty-one years, working with abused and neglected youth as a social worker, program coordinator, and as Director of the Steppingstone program in Kansas City. Mr. Lewis was key in building the Steppingstone-Independent Living Program into a more sophisticated program in St. Louis in 1986. In l991, Lewis was promoted to Program Director in Kansas City. At that time he introduced ECH's Steppingstone program in the Kansas City area. In 2013 Lewis was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for ECH Every Child's Hope. 
Title Associate Director
Title Director of Steppingstone

Lynn Durbin, M.S., M.B.A. is an administrator, clinician and consultant in the community behavioral health field. He has over 30 years of behavioral health experience in a diversity of environments, including a residential group home for boys, a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, a behavioral health unit located in a medical surgical hospital, a for-profit psychiatric hospital, community mental health centers, a federally qualified health center, a managed behavioral health organization, and an addiction recovery treatment center. He has served in a variety of capacities including as a youth worker, licensed psychotherapist, mental health needs assessment and referral manager, emergency room mental health consultant, program director, clinical director, executive director and vice president of operations. His career in community-based behavioral health has taken place in rural, suburban and urban core settings while providing services to individuals and families of all socioeconomic levels and diverse cultural backgrounds. He has been in the Steppingstone Director position in Kansas City, MO since December of 2013.

Paid Full-Time Staff 28
Paid Contractors 1
Volunteers 50
Retention Rate 76%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Child Welfare League - Associate Member2000
Alliance for Children and Families - Member2014
External Assessment and Accreditations
Council on Accreditation (COA) [for Children and Family Services] - Accreditation2022
Charity of the YearLadue News2006
Extreme Apartment Makeover: Steppingstone EditionJunior Service League of Independence2014
Spirit of Alliance Award for Direct Service to Debora LakeThe Alliance for Children and Families2014
Spirit of Alliance National Award given to ECH employee Debora LakeNational Alliance for Children & Families2014
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Shari Smith
Company Affiliation Vehicle Assurance
Term Jan 2010 to Dec 2019
Board Members
Mr. Oliver A Berwin Jr.Berwin Insurance Agency
Ms. Regina BerwinCJ Thomas
Mr. Jeremy FettigBremen Bank
Mr. Paul G. FlynnBank of Bloomsdale
Mr. Gerhard K. GlasslCrown Electric
Mr. Ron HailCRH Transportation, Inc.
Mr. Alan HautlyHautly Cheese
Mr. Dennis B. MertzSouth County Senior Law and Estate
Ms. Gail SaxtonCommunity Volunteer
Mr. Stephen R. SchroederSchroeder & Associates, P.C. CPA's
Ms. Susan SheltonCommunity Volunteer
Ms. Lucille SmithCommunity Volunteer
Ms. Shari SmithSmith Insurance Group
Ms. Selena VaughnAT&T
Mr. David ViehmannSt. Charles Sand Company
Ms. Anne WilliamsCommunity Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 65%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
CEO Comments Though ECH has an extremely dedicated Board of Directors and staff, we have been challenged in Kansas City by the fact that the organization was founded in St. Louis and has the majority of its board living in that area.  The comments of the most recent accreditation board echoed our own conviction that the services our staff provides at-risk youth are among the finest available. We are very excited about increasing the level of community involvement to help us spread the word about the high quality of care our youth receive. 
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $14,310,146
Projected Expenses $13,758,861
Form 990s
2018 ECH 990
2017 ECH 990
2016 ECH 990
2015 ECH School 990
2015 ECH 990
2014 ECH 990
2013 ECH 990
2012 ECH 990
2011 ECH 990
2010 ECH 990
2009 ECH 990
2008 ECH 990
2007 ECH 990
2006 ECH 990
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 9/30/2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
  • Steppingstone, which is based in Kansas City, is a program of Evangelical Children's Home, which is a state wide organization. 
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,463,565$2,331,190$3,002,687
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,509,728$620,463$394,209
Membership Dues$0--$0
Special Events$55,815$58,201$55,380
Revenue In-Kind$430,223$99,882$105,659
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$9,833,072$9,542,820$9,537,532
Administration Expense$1,483,899$1,535,395$1,536,481
Fundraising Expense$548,959$427,251$462,690
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.970.931.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%83%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$30,559,168$30,269,189$29,646,118
Current Assets$5,011,799$4,484,710$4,799,909
Long-Term Liabilities$1,212,685$1,088,834$1,324,245
Current Liabilities$194,599$153,218$181,465
Total Net Assets$29,151,884$29,027,137$28,140,408
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities25.7529.2726.45
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets4%4%4%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose Build a new short-term residential treatment facility for youth on St. Louis campus.
Goal $6,000,000.00
Dates Sept 2018 to Dec 2020
Amount Raised to Date $4,405,519.00 as of Oct 2019
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments

One of the goals of the Steppingstone program is to diversify our funding in order to increase our capacity to serve youth who are homeless and/or runaway or who are at risk of being homeless.

According to the 2017 Missouri Kids Count, Jackson County ranks 104th out of 114 counties in terms of the welfare of children, which is partly due to the county’s runaway and homeless youth. Because of this, the intake department at Steppingstone consistently receives well over 200 requests for services in 2017. During this past year, Steppingstone could only serve 43 of those due to available funding. 
   In 2014, under contract with the Homelessness Task Force of Greater Kansas City, the Institute of Public Policy quantified the need for services in the community for homeless youth. The data shows an increasing need for shelter and housing services for young people. Providers of services to at-risk youth in the metropolitan area had to turn away over 21,000 homeless youth due to lack of funding or capacity. The report concluded that “The greatest shortfalls are in the areas of family services, housing for homeless children and youth, and mental health.”
   Steppingstone has been on the forefront of providing transitional living services in the Kansas City area since 1990. ECH is one of the most fiscally sound children’s services agencies in the state. Steppingstone has a history of collaboration and support from the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund and the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division. That is not to say that funds from philanthropic sources are not vital to our success. Donor contributions support us as an agency seeking to transition young people from knowing basic survival skills to young people who are successful young adults. All contributions given in Kansas City stay in Kansas City and help make Steppingstone a leader among transitional living programs for youth.

Other Documents
ECH 160th Anniversary Newsletter2018View
ECH Annual Report2018View
InStep Newsletter2017View
InStep Newsletter Summer/Fall2017View
ECH Annual Report2017View
ECH Annual Report2016View
In Step Newsletter2015View
ECH Annual Report2015View
In Step Newsletter2014View
ECH Annual Report2014View
ECH Annual Report2013View
Organization Name Steppingstone - a Program of Evangelical Children's Home
Address 5100 Noland Rd
Kansas City, MO 641332610
Primary Phone (816) 356-0187
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael P Brennan
Board Chair Ms. Shari Smith
Board Chair Company Affiliation Vehicle Assurance
Year of Incorporation 1858
Former Names
Evangelical Children's Home