This study tests an innovative model for preventing child maltreatment and adverse child experiences (ACEs) by aligning health and social services for vulnerable families in St. Louis. The Parents and Children Together - St. Louis (PACT-STL) initiative braids together services and funding streams from multiple sectors to assist families with children who are referred to child protective services (CPS) for first-time and low-severity problems. This study uses a mixed-methods design to evaluate the initiative's effects on cross-sector relationships among community organizations, access to needed services among parents and children, and subsequent CPS referrals and costs. Researchers at Washington University's Brown School of Social Work are collaborating with Vision for Children at Risk, Missouri Department of Social Services, St. Louis Housing Authority, St. Louis Department of Health and other community organizations across the city to conduct the study. Findings will be used to assist other communities in implementing successful financing and service delivery models for preventing ACEs.
- Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, Director of the PhD Program at Washington University's Brown School of Social Work
- Patricia Kohl, PhD, Associate Professor at Washington University's Brown School of Social Work