CAPA: Healing Hearts and Homes

Preventing and treating child abuse and neglect by creating changes in individuals, families and society that strengthen relationships and promote healing. 

The Problem

Children are the most treasured members of our society. They come into this world equipped with only tiny and fragile bodies that need the most tender of care. Yet 3.6 million child maltreatment referrals are made to Child Protective Service in the U.S. each year. In Missouri alone, there were 72,000 reports of child abuse in 2016, 12,000 of those in Jackson County - the heart of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Child abuse and neglect affects families from different socioeconomic backgrounds, regions, races, and ethnicities. There is no single cause of child abuse and neglect - child maltreatment is a complex problem that stems from a variety of factors. Yet there are a multitude of risk factors that are commonly associated with abuse and neglect such as poverty, unemployment, marital conflict and a history of traumatic abuse. At-risk parents need extra support and resources to help guide them in providing a safe and healthy home environment for children in our community.

The birth of a child can bring much joy and celebration; but for some families, parenting also brings stress, worry, and endless unknowns. CAPA knows that children and families are able to do their best when they feel supported. For this reason, CAPA strives to be a leader in innovating the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect so children and families can reach their full potential.

The Solution

When entire families receive appropriate services, parents and caregivers gain the tools they need to effectively support their child's healing.

CAPA was founded in Independence, Missouri in1975 with the mission to prevent and treat all forms of child abuse. Today, CAPA's work stretches across multiple counties in the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area, and is supported by three critical pillars of service: Family Support Services to help strengthen families in need; Counseling Services to help children recover from the harmful effects of neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse; and Educational Services to foster the prevention of child abuse.

Families that participate in CAPA services experience a reduction in stress, receive support in navigating the complicated maze of the legal and child welfare systems, and gain needed support and education in caring for a traumatized child. Most importantly, families in treatment experience an increase in the ability to provide a safe, nurturing, violence-free home. Unlike many mental health providers constrained by contract or insurance regulations, CAPA does not charge families for its services nor does it limit the amount of time a child or family needs to access therapeutic support.

Children are not destined to be crippled by their traumatic experiences forever; there are interventions that help. Children and families who receive counseling, information, and social support learn that the abuse they have experienced is only part of their story - CAPA works to empower them to write the rest. Together we can help children heal and end abuse.

Planned Use Of Funds

Last year, CAPA supported nearly 1,000 children and individuals in its service area and provided over 7,800 hours of counseling and case management services. While CAPA has experienced a boom in growth over the past five years - expanding office locations and hiring additional staff, with over 12,000 reports of child abuse in Jackson County, Missouri alone, the need for service is far greater than the capacity to serve. CAPA needs the support of caring donors to continue to grow. Funds received from Shared Nation would provide CAPA with additional operating capacity and advance continued expansion of critical services to children and families seeking hope and healing from abuse and neglect.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA)

This project was nominated by: