The Synergy Spotlight
Shining a light on the people and programs powered by your support.
Creating Beauty and Joy for Children in Crisis
The private bedrooms in our shelter are a luxury many of the children in our care have never known, and are a safe place for them to begin to build resilience and work through their trauma. 
Many scientific studies show connections between our surroundings and our physical and emotional well-being. 

So when we designed our new children's center, we knew that it had to be a place that conveyed comfort and joy for the children and families who would seek help and safety within its walls. We're excited to share with you a few photos of the healing spaces now serving children and families every day at the new center. 

As we approach our hundredth day in our new surroundings, we have been gratified to continuously hear from the children how much they enjoy the beauty of the facility. We have been excited to see them bring to life the art and play spaces as they engage in art and play therapies and simply play and have fun! We are inspired every day by the families in crisis who have reached out to us for safety, security, shelter and support in keeping their families together.

The ability to shelter more children, better understand and serve families in crisis and engage with the community are possibilities we are just beginning to realize in our new surroundings. Although we have stretched and grown to make the new center a reality, 
we need your continued support to fully utilize the facility and realize its full potential. Please make your commitment today to the children who need your help in our community!
The Challenge of Child Abuse in our Community
Most of us can not imagine the adults in children's lives intentionally hurting them, sexually abusing them or severely neglecting them. But it happens every day.

This month as we observe national child abuse awareness and prevention month, we want to share a few facts:
  • In the most recent Missouri Children's Division annual report (2015), 19,249 children were in state custody (a 16% increase from 16,493 in 2011).  Of the total number of children in state custody 3,061 were in Synergy's direct service area (Jackson, Clay, Platte counties).  
  • The most recent Missouri Child Fatality Review Program Annual Report showed 64 (up 6% from 60 in 2014 report) children died from cases of fatal child abuse/neglect and 58 (a 19% increase from 47 in previous reporting period) died from homicide.
  • Substantiated child abuse/neglect increased by 29% in Synergy's main service area from 2010-2014 with 7,162 cases in 2010 to 10,125 in 2014. 
Though these facts are sobering, there is also good news:
  • Synergy continues to lead local efforts in implementing new trauma informed prevention and treatment methods for young children who have experienced trauma. 
  • Our new children's center gives Synergy the capacity to help more kids than we've ever helped before. 
  • Our Children's Advocacy Center is better equipped than ever to deploy integrated services quickly and effectively to children disclosing abuse. 
  • We are working every day to r aise community awareness to support safe, happy childhoods by educating people about the dangers of child abuse and steps that can be taken to prevent it.   
What should you do if you suspect abuse?
Each of us has a role to play in keeping the children of our community safe. Stay connected to children you know and watch for warning signs of abuse. If you suspect a child is in trouble, contact authorities for help:

800-392-3738 (or 573-751-3448 if calling from a number outside Missouri)


Want to know/do more?
Our Children's Advocacy Center offers a FREE two-hour training session. Stewards of Children is a nationally recognized training program designed to increase the public's knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective behaviors in our communities. Email Emilia Mense Caby or call her at 816-505-4834 for more information.
News & Events
Plant a Pinwheel
Our pinwheel garden is in full bloom! Thank you to all who donated to "plant" a pinwheel in the garden and support the abused and neglected children in our care. These kids in crisis have a chance to bloom because of you! 

Nationally, April is Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention month...and the perfect time to add your support to help us help kids in crisis and break the cycle of abuse.  

Kindness is Contagious!
Just a few more weeks until the 27th annual Kindest Kansas Citian Awards gala. You won't want to miss this heartwarming celebration of kindness. Join the kind crowd already on board, including these sponsors: Discover Vision, Rita & Irwin Blitt, DST, Joe & Lynn Poskin, BMO Harris Bank, QuikTrip Corporation, The View at Briarcliff, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, TradeBot and NorthPoint Development!

Volunteers Make it Happen!
Staff resources at Synergy are impossibly stretched. Volunteers help to bridge the gaps in serving the 40,000 children, youth, women and families benefiting annually from our many programs.  Last year alone, volunteers contributed 6,540 hours to Synergy's mission--that's equal to more than three full-time staff members! Let us know if you'd like to volunteer...

Award Winning Services
Synergy is the proud recipient of this year's Crystal Kipper & Ally Kemp memorial award from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Synergy was selected for our work to protect and care for children. 

Tom Larson, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri presented the award saying "Synergy Services is a staunch advocate and compassionate caregiver for children and families in crisis."  Read the full press release...

Synergy staff and board members are pictured here with former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, who established the award 14 years ago; Roger Kemp, the father of Ali Kemp; and Anna Rea, the mother of Crystal Kipper.   

Synergy Headlines
Check out the latest media coverage of all our programs and events!

What the Heck are ACEs?
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful events that occur during our childhood and can impact our development and lifelong health. Understanding ACEs is key to healing trauma and building resilience for good long-term health. Learn more and take the ACEs quiz...
Robin Shanberg Winner
Executive Director
Robin's Wrap-up

Dear Friends,

Having chaired the Jackson/Clay Children's Service Fund Coalition for a number of years, I was so pleased that this important fund was passed by the voters in Jackson county last November. The small sales tax will generate millions of desperately needed dollars each year to benefit children and youth within the county. 

As the Citizen's Board is formed to oversee the distribution of funds, it is rewarding to realize that Jackson county will now join with eight other counties across Missouri to benefit from these life-changing resources made possible by citizens coming together to help kids. The fund will expand shelter for abused and homeless children, increase treatment for drug and alcohol dependency, and add funds for transitional housing, outpatient counseling, psychiatry, prevention education and crisis intervention. It will literally transform lives and change futures as it has in the other counties where it has been passed.

Unfortunately it was also extremely disappointing that despite the support of thousands of citizens, the fund did not get placed on the ballot in Clay county last year. We are hopeful that the Children's Service Fund initiative will be on the ballot for an August election and Clay 
county voters will have the chance to decide to dedicate one penny out of every four dollars to provide care and support for kids across the county. 

It takes partnership and support at many levels to care for children and other vulnerable populations in our community. We are so grateful to each of you for your caring and support.


Robin Shanberg Winner
Executive Director
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400 E 6th St, Parkville MO 64152