Lafayette County Tax for Children Summary
March 13, 2017
- Date Passed: April 2005
- Tally in Favor: 50.87% of votes
- Name of Administrative Entity: Lafayette County Children’s Services Fund (LCCSF)
- LCCSF Webpage: http://www.lccsf.org/
- LCCSF Executive Director: Tiffany Dehn
- Other Staff: None
Board of Directors
- Selection: An appointed county Commissioner, who acts as a liaison between LCCSF and the county commission, makes recommendations for the appointment of Board members. If a vacancy arises, the Commissioner identifies potential board members.
- Term Length: Currently, there are no term limits. Board members can be reappointed.
- Current members: Visit the LCCSF website to learn more about current board members (see Meetings & Board section).
- Meetings: The Board of Directors meets once a month. Currently, meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month. Upcoming meeting dates are listed in the LCCSF website.
Application Process and Funding
- Applying for Funds: The LCCSF announces funding opportunities through their website and has two funding cycles. Applicants must first submit a letter of intent followed by a full proposal. Further information on funding opportunities and how to apply for them is available on the LCCSF website (see Proposal Requests section).
- Review Process: Funding proposal are submitted to the LCCSF Director electronically or in person. Submitted funding proposals are forwarded by the Director to each Board member before the next board meeting for review. Applicants present their grant requests at the board meeting where each board member scores and submits a scoring sheet with questions or concerns. The Director addresses any questions or concerns with the applicants, and a report with answers is submitted to each board member. A final vote is taken at the following month’s board meeting to decide which requests are approved for funding.
- Funding Period: All grants are awarded for one year and are eligible for renewal.
- Working with Other Funds: The LCCSF does not work with other funds.
The LCCSF is currently working on conducting a needs assessment to identify the most relevant needs in Lafayette County. Reports documenting the outcomes of current programs are available to the public upon request (please contact the Executive Director) and will be soon made available on the LCCSF website. The Children’s Services Fund has brought about invaluable changes to Lafayette County by creating avenues for local services and facilitating access to services in rural communities. The following stories illustrate how two programs, supported by the Children’s Services Fund, improved the lives of children in the County.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)—Advocating for the Best Interest of Children
Paul was a 15-year-old who was admitted into foster care at the age of 11 due to self-harm. His biological mother had refused to access mental health services for him and demonstrated a general lack of concern over Paul’s well-being. Over the years, Paul’s CASA volunteer developed a healthy, supportive relationship with him. The CASA volunteer visited Paul monthly—in all his 10 mental health treatment placements, participated in Family Support Team meetings on his behalf, and constantly monitored the services ordered. The volunteer also monitored the receipt of services by Paul’s mother as a way of improving the situation which removed Paul from his home originally. The volunteer also submitted succinct reports to the Court regarding Paul’s best interest. When the trial home placement with his biological mother failed for Paul, the CASA volunteer became a constant in his life.
CASA volunteers have the serious responsibility of speaking for children and their best interests. Paul hit a crossroads in his young life when he decided he no longer wanted contact with his mother. Thanks to the tenacity of the CASA volunteer, who listened to the teen, researched, and spoke on his behalf in court, an unusual order was granted in court, ceasing all visitations from Paul’s mother. In a heartbeat, Paul’s mental health improved immensely to the point that he was removed from institutional care and placed in a foster home. On the day of Paul’s regularly scheduled court hearing, his foster mother accompanied him to court, along with his CASA volunteer. The foster mother announced that it would be her distinct pleasure to adopt Paul, who was almost 16-year-olds—a rare occurrence for foster children this age! Now, the entire team of Children’s Division, Juvenile Officers, Guardian Ad Litem, and CASA join Paul in looking forward to his forever happy home.
Brighter Futures—Supporting Children to Achieve their Full Potential
A 6th-grade student was referred to Brighter Futures. The student presented multiple concerns including difficulties succeeding in the traditional classroom setting, spending most of his time in the recovery room, engaging in aggressive behaviors, frequent school suspensions, crying, and withdrawing socially. The student was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Brighter Futures sponsored individual sessions with a mental health provider and a Social Skills Group. The student received this support from Brighter Futures throughout his middle school and high school years. Thanks to this support, the student was able to make new, close friends. He also started playing sports like football and basketball and joined several school-based clubs. The student successfully graduated from high school with an A average! Upon graduation, the student and his family relocated to North Carolina, so that he could attend college. With the steady support of Brighter Futures, Kelly Sears (an independent contracted provider on behalf of Brighter futures), Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (HCF), the school district, and LCCSF, this student went on a remarkable journey, from not being able to sit in a traditional classroom to graduating high school with an A average and attending college.
12 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016)
13 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016) County Pages
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