June 22, 2022

CHILDREN’S VILLAGE AWARDED $1.5M GRANT TO BUILD TEEN SAFE SPACE

Multi-Agency Resource Center Will Decrease Kootenai County Federal Fines

[COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO; June 22, 2022] – Children’s Village was selected by the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections to receive $1.5 million to build a multi-agency resource center on their campus. Funding for this initiative was reallocated from the voter-approved 2021 state fund by Governor Little early this year to immediately increase youth crisis resources across the state. 

Coeur d’Alene local Children’s Village has been in service for 32 years and operates a 24-bed facility of two residential homes. Active services include crisis respite to private families in need, emergency shelter for children in need of long-term housing, and Residential Treatment for children with complex needs rooted in trauma who are placed into care by the Department of Health and Welfare.

In service to all of Idaho, Children’s Village is debt free and owns 15 acres off Hanley Avenue near Lake City High School. The new grant funded facility will be built between their two residential homes; the facility will create a public facing access point to the campus but the interior, which is a closed campus for youth in residence, will not be disturbed.

Originally established in 1983 as a shelter home for local children, Children’s Village has continued to adapt as the Idaho foster system and local needs changed. In 2021, to preserve the ability to care for children of the foster system for over two weeks, Children’s Village was required by the Federal Family First Act to become federally accredited as a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), one of five in all of Idaho. In June of 2022, Children’s Village entered their second year of a three-year federal accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  

“Every single day someone tells me a youth in our community aren’t their problem” said Vanessa Moos, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Village. “Leaders, heads of departments, decision-makers, they’re telling me that we [Children’s Village] should manage these kids on our own. It’s time for all of us to realize that every child and every family unit is everyone’s problem, especially when their failure could create an unsafe Coeur d’Alene.”

The grant-funded facility will create a community space to wrap-around families in the community. In 1974, the United States formally moved away from youth jailing by creating increased crisis resources. In 2021, Kootenai County remained 57% of Idaho statewide noncompliance fines for jailing youth due to status offenses. Once built, the Multi-Agency Resource Center will be designed by a cooperative of agencies and nonprofits including Juvenile Diversion and Probation of Kootenai County.

“Kootenai County Juvenile Diversion is both honored and pleased to be able to partner with our fellow stakeholders to better serve the citizens of Kootenai County and the families that we work with.  We are excited for the potential that this Assessment Center brings to Kootenai County and are looking forward to the impact that it will have for many years to come.” said Douglas Hall, Kootenai County Juvenile Diversion Supervisor.

According to the National Assessment Center Association, Assessment Centers aim to prevent and divert youth from juvenile justice and child welfare systems through a single point of contact which identifies underlying issues contributing to concerning behavior and partners with youth and families to access individualized services and/or resources.

JT Taylor, Director of Kootenai County Juvenile Detention also added, “this Assessment Center will create an opportunity for the community to identify the individual needs of any youth and family in crisis. By creating, with a family, a realistic plan to keep the unit whole, we have a chance to prevent the Justice system in Kootenai County from being the catch all.”

In support of the grant application, twenty-five community and organization leaders submitted letters to encourage funding. Letters were received from United States Senator Mike Crapo, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Children’s Mental Health, Coeur d’Alene School District, Post Falls School District, U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigations, Kootenai Health, Heritage Health, Northwest Specialty Hospital, Panhandle Health, CASA, St. Vincent de Paul, United Way, Charity Reimagined, Idaho Nonprofit Center, among others.  

“This Safe Teen Assessment Center is in line with our strategic plan to increase our reach into the community to keep children out of the state and federal systems,” said Vanessa Moos, MPA, CEO. “Decades ago, our primary mission was established to be proactive and keep children out of harm’s way by privately fundraising to take children into our homes before law enforcement and child protective services are needed. In 2022, our mission remains unchanged: we will do whatever we can to help youth by providing resources at their point of crisis. This facility is an extension of this effort, what if we could provide a space where all of our community agencies, state and privately funded, had transient office space to resource-mine? What if a community had enough collaboration to create a safety net? This grant is allowing us the ability to create this resource.”

Community partnerships will allow Children’s Village to leverage the grant to provide maximum local benefit. “We desire to be part of the mission of Children’s Village and will decrease our fees as much as we can” said Steve Roth, Principal at Architects West.

Josh Horvath, Senior Project Manager at StanCraft Construction Group added “we have the means to help organize and provide the construction. This Assessment Center will be a great addition to the campus of Children’s Village and we will work with Architects West to establish an efficient build to continue our desire to help our North Idaho community.”  

Idaho Forest Group added their support with a commitment of monetary, lumber, and volunteer donations to help this worthy effort. With their active community partnerships, Children’s Village expects to break ground by early 2023.