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The need for the PEACE Clinical program is particularly evident in Missouri. The 2016 Issue Brief from the National Survey of Children's Health reports almost 50% of Missouri's children sustained at least one adverse experience; over 27% had sustained at least two, surpassing the national average of 21.7%. Furthermore, the 2021 Missouri Kids Count Databook notes that 28.3% of children in St. Louis County are living in single parent households, and 14.9% of children under age 6 are living in poverty. Furthermore, the Children's Division Child Abuse/Neglect FY 2021 Report notes there were 275 cases of substantiated child abuse and neglect; this is the highest number in the region, accounting for approximately 8% of cases in the state of Missouri. Despite the high amount of child abuse/neglect and poverty in St Louis County, families referred to therapeutic services are often placed on a waitlist due to current workforce shortages in the behavioral health field. One of the largest providers in St Louis County, has Description of Need a 3 - 4 months waitlist.

Unaddressed early childhood adversity hurts children, families, and communities. A family's ability to provide stable, nurturing relationships and environments that children need to thrive can be disrupted by household and community factors. These factors include:

  • Traumatic events

  • Poverty

  • Violence

  • Racism and discrimination

  • Substance use

  • Caregiver's mental illness

  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse

  • Neglect


But there is good news!  When children have the benefit of at least one buffering adult, it diminishes the negative impacts of toxic stress and adversity, changing the narrative for their families.

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