St. Louis County Tax for Children Summary

March 13, 2017

Tax Approval

  • Date Passed: November 2008
  • Tally in Favor: 61.54% of votes

Tax Administration

  • Name of Administrative Entity: St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund (CSF)
  • CSF Webpage:
  • CSF Executive Director: Connie J. Cunningham
  • Other Staff: Director of Programs, Director of Administration, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Community Outreach Coordinator, Communications and Government Affairs Coordinator, Assistant to the Executive Director, Business Systems Analyst, Program Associates, and Accountants.

Board of Directors

  • Selection: Board members are appointed by the County Executive with
    recommendations from the Executive Director.
  • Term Length: Members voluntarily serve 3-year terms with the possibility of re-appointment.
  • CSF Current members: Visit CSF’s website to learn more about current board members (see Board of Directors section). CSF is in the process of Board strategic planning. This will be a feature on CSF’s website in 2017.
  • Meetings: The board meets monthly—every third Wednesday of the month. For information about meeting documents and location, visit CSF’s website (see Board Meetings section).

Application Process and Funding

  • Applying for Funds: CSF maintains a mailing list of all agency inquiries made via CSF’s website, community meetings or by phone. An email announcing the availability of the request for proposals (RFP) is sent to this mailing list as well as to all agencies previously funded by CSF. Requests for proposals are also published on CSF’s website and local news outlets throughout the St. Louis Region.
  • Review Process: All complete applications are reviewed and ranked by CSF staff and external reviewers. A written summary of the application, including funding recommendations, is provided to the board, which reviews the material prior to allocations of award funding.
  • Funding Period: Currently, CSF has a two-year funding cycle.

    The current Board’s priorities include: prevention programming, bullying including cyber-bullying, early identification, prevention, and treatment of substance use and abuse, expanding access for counseling services, and positive youth development.

  • Working with Other Funds: CSF is currently working with other funds. CSF collaborates with other tax funds and local, state, and federal government around priority areas and emerging trends.

The St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund undertakes community needs assessments every 3 years to determine the impact of previous investments, identify future funding priorities, and to capture the current landscape of behavioral health in the community. The comprehensive data collected through the needs assessments informs funding decisions and strategies. Results from the needs assessments are published in a report which is available on CSF’s website (see Documents section). The Children’s Services Tax has allowed St. Louis County to stabilize funding allocations through clear, concise policies, procedures, and practices. The following stories provide some examples of the programs funded through CSF in St. Louis County.

Inspiring Stories

Every Child’s Hope—Helping Children in their Quest for Health

Dan was a 15-year-old, who was every parent’s dream child. He had straight A’s, went to a prestigious school, excelled at sports, and was very good-natured, but something suddenly changed. When he first visited Every Child’s Hope, Dan had been dealing with gradually worsening depression with psychotic features for 1 to 2 years. For him and his parents, the last 2 years had been a nightmare—multiple hospitalizations and at least one night in juvenile hold for aggression toward family members. He also chronically battled suicidal thoughts because he went from being such a high-achieving, young man to someone who was unable to function and was constantly tortured by his own thoughts. His anxiety was so severe that he could not walk into any public place. He began seeing Every Child’s Hope and gradually became more stable with fewer hallucinations, less paranoid delusions, and less anxiety. It took some time, but now, he is doing far better than his counselors ever imagined. He is finishing high school, taking college classes, and establishing a social life. He hopes one day to become a therapist or a counselor, and now has the capabilities to do so.

Family Empowerment Program—Supporting Parents to Achieve their Goals

Funding from the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund helped the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery to expand and enrich the Family Empowerment Program (FEP) in 2016. The nursery strengthened its parenting education efforts by adopting a new evidence-based curriculum called Nurturing Parenting. Social workers use the curriculum on home visits, in monthly parent education groups, and the accompanying children’s program. In addition to this focus on parenting, social workers continue to provide home-based case management and therapeutic counseling for families, who have used the nursery for respite, but desire long-term support from the agency. The St. Louis Children’s Services Fund also contributed to the nursery’s expansion of the Latino Outreach Program, including funding 10 outreach events at St. Louis County churches since March. More than 230 people received food, clothing, diapers, referrals, and needs assessments at these events. Thanks to the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, about 300 Latino clients have received case management services in Spanish, and 24 have received Spanish-language mental health counseling. In addition, the Latino program and the FEP’s English-speaking clients met together at 10 parent groups throughout the year, providing a unique opportunity for cross-cultural interaction and understanding. This year, the St. Louis County Children’s Services Fund allowed the Family Empowerment Program to continue to serve as an important safety net with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect, minimizing stress and isolation, and empowering families to achieve their goals.

19 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016)
20 Missouri Kids Count Data Book (2016) County Pages

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