REACH Healthcare Foundation Awards $30,000 Grant to KidsTLC, Inc.

KidsTLC, Inc. was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the REACH Healthcare Foundation to support their Gender Affirming Care/LGBTQ+ Training Project.

Funding from the REACH Healthcare Foundation will support trainings that will enhance and strengthen the capacity of KidsTLC and other youth-serving agencies to provide high-quality, culturally competent, and equitable care to LGBTQ+ consumers. This capacity grant will be integral in bringing a two-and-a-half-day conference to the Kansas City area put on by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Ten to twelve KidsTLC clinicians as well as professionals from the community at large will attend the conference. Funds will also allow KidsTLC to put on a one-day training on our campus (for internal staff only) hosted by the KC-Anti Violence Project (KCAVP). KidsTLC staff and others in the community will gain significant knowledge and tools to better meet the health/behavioral health needs of the LGBTQ+ population. This will ultimately strengthen the safety net’s capacity to equitably serve target populations that have not only faced barriers in accessing care due to lack of adequate health insurance, but who are often marginalized or discriminated against based upon their identity.

Mental health professionals have an exceptionally important role in helping LGBTQ+ youth and their families navigate their experiences. When it comes to the way the family (or child) ultimately accepts and supports the young person’s gender-expansiveness and sexuality, mental health professionals currently hold more sway than anyone. Research shows that kids and teens who are accepted and affirmed have higher self-esteem, positive mental health, less depressive and anxious symptoms, and greater life-satisfaction. This shows the critical importance for mental health professionals to have access to gender affirming training, supervision, and the resources to stay up to date on the latest research and effective treatment approaches for LGBTQ+ youth.

Professionals across various fields are calling for the affirmative care and support for gender-expansive young people.  However, it is increasingly difficult for families to find providers specializing in these types of services; of those that do, most if not all only accept private pay. In the greater Kansas City area, a limited number of clinics provide services to this population. KidsTLC seeks to address these needs through training for its staff and for the community.

KidsTLC transforms the lives of children and families experiencing mental and behavioral health challenges, developmental trauma, and autism. KidsTLC implements a variety of evidence-based and researched best practices in our clinical services and treatment planning. Since 2016, KidsTLC has committed to embedding, embodying and enacting the principles of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Practice and Parenting (DDP) in order to create supportive, family-focused therapeutic teams that build resilient, trusting relationships. We understand that we can create a culture and climate of belonging and healing by relating with all people we encounter in safe, open and engaged ways. In May 2019, KidsTLC announced its official approval as the first DDP certified residential facility in the world. In addition, KidsTLC’s programs were all re-accredited in 2017 through 2021 by the Council on Accreditation (COA).