Jefferson County Tax for Children Summary

March 13, 2017

Tax Approval

  • Date Passed: November, 2004
  • Tally in Favor: 60.36% of votes.

Tax Administration

  • Name of Administrative Entity: Community Treatment, Inc., dba COMTREA
  • COMTREA Webpage: www.comtrea.org/
  • COMTREA CEO/President: Susan Curfman
  • Other Staff: For a complete list, visit the COMTREA website (see Staff Members section).

Board of Directors

  • Selection: Board members are appointed by the County Council.
  • Term Length: Board members serve three year terms. There are no term limits.
  • Current members: Information about the current board members is available on the COMTREA website (see Board Members section).
  • Meetings: The board meets quarterly in the months of June, September, December, and March.

Application Process and Funding

  • Applying for Funds: Until this year, all funds from the Children’s Services Fund went to COMTREA. A strategic plan has been designed for 2017, in which funds will be designated for collaborative partnerships with grant guidelines and request for applications. Announcements will be made through email notification and website link to community partners.
  • Review Process: According to the strategic plan for 2017, applications will be reviewed and selected by the Jefferson County Community Mental Health Fund Board.
  • Funding Period: Grants will be awarded for 1 to 5 years.

A variety of programs are currently funded through COMTREA, including availability of school-based mental health providers up to one day per week in all public schools, the presence of a licensed counselor working with children living in “A Safe Place” domestic violence shelter, and a school-based health center for mental health and substance abuse counseling. To learn more about these and other programs, visit the COMTREA website (see Youth Programs section).

  • Working with Other Funds: COMTREA uses other funding sources (e.g., billable services & Department of Mental Health funds) before accessing the Children’s Services Tax Fund.

COMTREA conducts annual surveys and interviews with service recipients to learn about the impact of their programs and organize community needs assessment forums to inform programming priorities. Every year, COMTREA prepares a report summarizing the outcomes of the programs that receive funds from the Children’s Services Tax (see End of the Year section). Since the Children’s Services Tax was approved in Jefferson County, all funds were used exclusively to support COMTREA programs; however, a strategic plan has been designed to expand the use of these funds to support collaborative partnerships with other organizations. To learn more about the strategic plan for 2017, visit the COMTREA website.

The approval of the Children’s Services Tax has transformed the services available for children and their families in Jefferson County. Thanks to this tax, each school building in the county has a licensed or licensed eligible counselor who serves as liaison to connect children to the services they need and coordinate their care. The following stories illustrate how the lives of two girls radically improved thanks to programs supported by the Children’s Services Tax.

Inspiring Stories [9]

In-School Counseling Program—Helping a Teen Develop into a Confident Adult Bethany was referred to the COMTREA In-School Counselor Program after being discharged from a 5½-month hospitalization due to intense depression, suicidal gestures, and severe self-mutilation. Therapeutic interventions included individual therapy and group therapy. Initially, Bethany was shy and withdrawn in groups, and as a result, assertiveness became an additional issue addressed in individual therapy. Bethany made significant progress through the program. As she gradually became more assertive, she also became more self-confident. She successfully obtained her first part-time job—a task she was initially apprehensive about, but now enjoys! She managed to catch up with all her schoolwork and pass to the next grade, despite her long period of hospitalization.

Bethany initiated a group for the girls in the COMTREA In-School Counseling Program, focusing on issues specific to teenage girls today. She also plans to begin her own support group for any teenage girls who would like to attend. Last but not least, Bethany has decided to write her story as a way to further process her issues and reach out to other teenage girls with similar issues.

Children’s Advocacy Center—Protecting a Child and Her Family

After three years of enduring abuse from her father, Annie found the courage to tell her older brother about it. The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) saw Annie the same day as her referral. She was extremely afraid during the initial meeting, but the CAC’s Family Advocate was able to explain to her how she and her family would be kept safe. Without this reassurance, Annie would not have been able to disclose the abuse she and her mother had endured for years. As a result of her interview and the subsequent investigation, her father pleaded guilty. Annie and her family are now safe and going on with their lives. Thanks to the intervention of the CAC’s resource staff, Annie’s father can no longer hurt her or her family.

7 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016)
8 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016) County Pages

9 Names used in Inspiring stories are fictional.

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