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24/7 Youth Connection Helpline: 1(877) 928-2929 / 314-628-2929

Our History

Starting in 2005 and continuing over the next couple of years, most Missouri communities experienced reduced funding in behavioral health and substance use services for children and youth due to budget cuts at the state and federal level. Recognizing the needs of children and families in St. Louis County, a coalition of committed local nonprofit agencies decided to address the growing problem.

An independent needs assessment was commissioned and a polling survey conducted which documented the need and gave the agencies the data that St. Louis County voters needed to support the initiative. Using Missouri State Statutes RSMo 67.1775 and 210.861, which allowed local communities to create a community children’s service fund for ten specific behavioral health and substance use service areas through a referendum, the St. Louis County Putting Kids First Campaign was launched in 2008.

Putting Kids First, also known as Proposition 1, passed on November 4, 2008 with a resounding 62% of St. Louis County voters’ approval. Approximately $40 million in annual resources are collected and distributed to local nonprofits and government agencies to provide behavioral health and substance use services for children and youth from birth to age 19.

Our Mission
To improve the lives of children, youth, and families in St. Louis County by strategically investing in the creation and maintenance of an integrated system of care that delivers effective and quality mental health and substance abuse services.

Keeping Kids First
The needs of our children and youth are our highest priority; they are our future.
We invest wisely and responsibly to earn and sustain the public’s trust, and to ensure the best return on investment.
We act with respect, honesty, and transparency to build true partnerships that will create change.

We are intentional, focused, and systematic in our efforts to create an integrated system of care.

We are flexible and responsive in order to meet the changing needs of our community.
We strive for positive outcomes, continuous quality improvement, and fact-based decision-making.