Looking Back, Moving Forward

A Message from CAPA 2020 Board President, Merideth Parrish

For nearly half a century, the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), has remained anchored in the fundamental belief that all children and families deserve to feel safe, cared for and loved. And in times like these, no truth could be more important as we find ourselves walking through the most unprecedented times of our lives. From navigating the impacts and the unknowns of a global pandemic, to working through how to best serve, educate and support our children during times of crisis and uncertainty – CAPA continues to embrace the opportunity to thrive. To maintain our longstanding culture and standard of excellence in providing therapeutic, educational and family supportive services, we must continually reflect back on the moments that stretched us in order to posture ourselves to fully embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.  

On behalf of CAPA’s Board of Directors, staff, our professional intern cadre and the many volunteers and stakeholders who work tirelessly to uphold and support this great organization, thank you for continuing to choose CAPA. Thank you for believing and investing in our mission to prevent and treat all forms of child abuse and neglect across the Kansas City area community. Thank you for reinforcing that indeed, our work matters.

In 2019 I reiterated the strong commitment of our executive, board and staff leadership teams; how as CAPA continues to grow we pride ourselves in acting as conduits or archeologists of human potential and solution-makers in what’s possible. We remained committed to quality. Through clinically-sound services, research-based strategies and a comprehensive approach to promoting individual and family healing, our focus would remain fostering resilience for all families impacted by abuse and neglect. Little did I realize that not even a year later, this commitment to meeting children and families in the very raw realities of their lives and experiences would challenge us to put our manpower where our mission was… and where it was going.

In 2020 the world’s climate as we knew it forever changed. Conversations around how to support children and families moved into layers and spheres that were both challenging and complex. Through its dedicated mental health and youth development professionals, CAPA leaned into love and its own learning, retooling many of the aids in our toolbox to include supports around coping with the uncertainties of a pandemic, creating a healthy environment for our littlest virtual learners, candid and caring conversations around race reconciliation and developing mental health supports for our adults carrying the heaviest of loads. Realizing our children and families are our most important assets and treasured responsibility, we did the hard work. We walked heart first into vulnerable spaces and conversations, unpacking where we believed CAPA had the ethical and moral responsibility to lead, to listen and to love.

Even more encouraging, CAPA did more than just survive in 2020, we thrived – creating new and innovative ways to remain connected to our clients, ensuring services continued without interruption, and in many cases expanded to meet specific needs identified by those we serve. We are so grateful to the many partners who championed some of CAPA’s many milestones in the midst of challenging times including: the transition of all our client families to virtual services and providing funds for technical supports where needed; providing financial support to each CAPA family in addition to generous family baskets for Christmas; the hiring of two new therapists of color to serve a more diverse range of clients at both our Independence and Kansas City locations, the creation and funding our first reserve account and so much more!

If anything, CAPA has lived up to its mantra that indeed, we are stronger, better, more resilient and more powerfully impactful together. Thank you for trusting us to be the caretakers and conduits of such a meaningful and important work. Thank you for joining us as staff, stakeholders, volunteers and investors in the arena that was 2020 and for staying committed through yet another exciting year of unexpected opportunities for growth.

Together we will continue to do more than we ever imagined. Together, we will roll up our sleeves, find strength in the messy, the uncertain and the unknown, and perform as good stewards of the clients’ lives, our professionals’ time and skills, and the financial resources our community has entrusted to us. Truly, the best we can do, is all we can do. And I’m so excited to serve with and alongside you in work ahead.

In grateful service,

Merideth Parrish, President, CAPA Board of Directors

View CAPA’s 2020 Annual Report.