October 12, 2017
Save The Date - Kansas Public Policy Forum

Mark your calendars for the December Kansas Public Policy Forum, co-hosted by UCS, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, and United Way of Greater Kansas City with sponsorship support from REACH Healthcare Foundation.  David Adkins, Executive Director/CEO of the Council of State Governments, will be a featured speaker at the forum.
 
Date:  Monday, December 4, 2017
Time:  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location:  Matt Ross Community Center
8101 Marty, Overland Park

Celebrating 50 Years of UCS Through the Stories We Help Create
Below is the second of a series of stories that will be featured in our eNewsletter, Facebook, and website.  Additionally, you may encounter one of our story banners that will be on display throughout the community over the next few months.  These are our stories, your stories, the community's stories.  If you have a UCS story you would like to share, please send it to Julie Brewer at julieb@ucsjoco.org .  Thank you for being a part of our story for 50 years.

Sunflower House & UCS:
Creating Services to Protect & Benefit Children
 
Sponsored by United Community Services of Johnson County (UCS), the Child Abuse Prevention Coalition began in the late 1970s, and in 1978 offered the first county-wide child abuse prevention education program implemented in schools. Today's Sunflower House is a result of a 1997 merger between the Coalition and the Sunflower Children's Center, and serves Johnson and Wyandotte counties as a non-residential children's advocacy and abuse prevention center.
 
The agency addresses abuse and neglect through a comprehensive approach, engaging children, parents, child-serving professionals and the community. UCS remains a vital supporter of the agency's vision to see safe children thriving in nurturing families and communities.
The Need
In the late 1970s, child abuse was a rarely talked-about subject anywhere in the country. In Johnson County, advocates knew something needed to be done to protect children from physical and sexual abuse. At the heart of the discussion was UCS, which assumed a leadership role as the community sought to collaborate and mobilize resources to better address child abuse.

The Result
UCS assembled a task force comprised of Johnson County legislators, representatives from cities and county government, human service providers and other advocates. The group's work centered on how to deliver a child-friendly child abuse and neglect education program that could be conducted locally.
 
As a result of these efforts, the Johnson County Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse was incorporated in 1977 under the umbrella of UCS' 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and was one of the first and most successful child abuse coalitions in the state. 
 
The Impact
Over the years, Sunflower House has expanded services to include a child assessment program, which includes coordinating abuse investigation with partner organizations, conducting forensic interviewing and providing family advocacy. The agency offers education programs for both children and adults including the signature Happy Bear play, which was designed specifically for young children to help them recognize, resist and report sexual abuse.
 
In a welcoming and friendly environment, mental health providers on staff provide therapy to children who have experienced a trauma. Sunflower House is now an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance.
 
For more than 40 years, UCS has played an important role in support of Sunflower House. The agency has been a perennial recipient of grants from the UCS-managed Human Service Fund, which is financially supported by Johnson County Government and 15 cities within the County. In addition to relying on UCS planning and research, Sunflower House is a member of the UCS-led Children's Coordinating Council, which works to improve the availability and delivery of health and human services for Johnson County children and youth.  
T hank you to our Visionary, Storyteller and Bard level sponsors for helping to tell the UCS story.
      
Make A Donation: Giving to honor our past and prepare for our future is a great way to help us celebrate 50 years and those who have served our community through UCS.  We are happy to offer this easy online giving option.
Our mission: Provide data analysis, lead collaborative planning and mobilize resources to enhance the availability and delivery of health and human services. 
 
Contact us at 913-438-4764 or www.ucsjoco.org