KVC, volunteers give makeover to child treatment center

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – While some Kansas City agencies have closed their beds to youth in need of residential psychiatric treatment, KVC is updating their facility.

KVC is working with volunteers from Design for a Difference KC and Kansas City Children’s Assistance Network (KC CAN) to give the first of three cottages at KVC’s Children’s Psychiatric Residential Treatment a makeover.

"It's a way for designers to use our talents and give back in a way that really impacts people's lives and touches the community," said Stephanie Stroud, Interior Designer. 

The cottages are a place for children to stay for longer periods of treatment.

"Really, at the end of the day, we help children help themselves really, and help them cope with whatever it is that they've experienced," said Sara Schlagel, KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital. 

In 2017, KVC served 3,492 children struggling with things like depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Out of those children, 97 percent showed improvements within the first 7 days of treatment. That's not the case for all children, who then move into one of the on-site cottages. 

"The wait list, they're long, our children in our communities, they're in need," said Schlagel. 

Thirty-six children can stay for extended treatment. Schlagel said the waiting list is continuously growing, as is the need. 

"From 2011 to 2017, we've seen that there's been a decrease of about 65 percent in the number of residential beds," said Schlagel. 

Design for a Difference developed a child-friendly healing environment for children and re-purposed an unused kitchen to incorporate a learning lab area dedicated to building better brains and helping children with emotional regulation.

This is just one of three houses in need of renovations. KVC and Design for a Difference need $200,000 to finish the project.

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