Parents & Children Together-St. Louis (PACT-STL) is a 5-year grant from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Our goal is to prevent child maltreatment, reduce entry into the child welfare system, and enhance the overall well-being of families. Vision for Children at Risk is leading this five-year initiative in St. Louis alongside many key partners. We are focusing this work on:

  1. Reducing entry into foster care by intentionally linking families to local, community-based resources/services;
  2. Supporting the overall well-being outcomes of children and families, including changes in risk and protective factors; and
  3. Improving coordination and collaboration across family and child serving systems.

The grant is implemented in St. Louis City and County. Initial targeted areas have been identified based upon the highest rates of reported abuse and neglect, and high risk factors.

Get Involved


Families should be at the center of decisions that impact them. The Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and Parent & Youth Advisory Councils (PYACs) help us make that happen. PACs put leadership and decision-making power back in your hands and connect you to a broad network of systems change makers. Parents and caregivers with lived experience navigating child protection systems, join the PACT-STL PYAC today and grow your impact! Contact the VCR team at 314.534.6015 to learn more.

Partner Organizations:

The PACT-STL Collaborative oversees the work of PACT-STL and is made up of the St. Louis Child Abuse and Neglect Board, Key Partners, Parent Advisory Council Representatives, Community Members, and Project Staff. Your participation helps us grow the impact, join today! Contact Ruth Ehresman at rehresman@visionforchildren.org or 314.534.6015 to learn more.

Parent Advisory Council Model

PACT-STL’s opportunities for getting involved really center around the Parent Advisory Council Model. The following image shows how the PACT-STL Parent and Youth Advisory Board and the PACT-STL Collaborative are closely connected with a broader effort for children’s well-being.


Goal 1: Reduce entry into foster care by linking families to services as part of primary and secondary prevention efforts.

  1. Increase protective factors;
  2. Increase nurturing behaviors;
  3. Increase families’ connection to services and supports; and
  4. Increase parent knowledge of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards.

Goal 2: Support the overall well-being outcomes for children, youth, and families by using data to inform and align strategies and address barriers.

  1. Increase the community capacity to provide evidence-based services to strengthen families;
  2. Increase awareness and use of culturally competent services;
  3. Increase the capacity of providers to offer evidence-based parenting programs;
  4. Identify factors contributing to risk, and strategies to address these factors.

Goal 3: Develop strategic collaborations with all required partners and coordinate, monitor, and report on strategies and outcomes across multi-sector partners.

  1. Increase sustainability by better aligning funding streams; and
  2. Develop recommendations to improve state and local policies and procedures that contribute to the risk of abuse or neglect.


  • Parent Cafés
  • Vitality Cafés
  • Community Cafés
  • Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) training
  • Increased community capacity to offer evidence-based parenting programs
  • Enhanced case management
  • Parent support partners and parent mentors to promote parent participation


Thank you to our many families and organizational partners that have already joined in on this initiative, including: Missouri Children’s Division, St. Louis City and County Family Courts, St. Louis Housing Authority, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, St. Louis City Department of Health, Missouri Children’s Trust Fund, Affinia HealthCare, FamilyForward, Almost Home, Epworth, One Hope United, Annie Malone, and Washington University-The Brown School Evaluation Center.