Center-Based Initiatives

Community driven endeavors that align people, build power, strengthen alliances, and committed to utilizing Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being to advance child well-being in St. Louis.

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools

CDF Freedom Schools® is a culturally competent, summer literacy and leadership program built around five components: high-quality academic enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, and nutritional, physical, and mental health. A CDF Freedom School operates at the Center in June and July.

Learn more about Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools®

Close the Workhouse

The Close the Workhouse campaign aims to attack mass incarceration, without legitimizing or justifying the continued caging of people as punishment. The campaign calls for the closure of the Medium Security Institute, better known in St. Louis as the Workhouse, an end to wealth based pretrial detention, and the reinvestment of the money used to cage poor people and Black people into rebuilding the most impacted neighborhoods in this region.

The Close the Workhouse campaign's organizing meeting and town halls are hosted at Deaconess Center.

Learn more about Close the Workhouse Campaign

Defund. Re-envision. Transform.

We seek divestment from institutions that harm, surveil, incarcerate, and kill Black & Brown communities. We seek investment into what actually makes us safe.

Learn more about Defund. Re-envision. Transfrom.

The Fatal State Violence Response Program

The Fatal State Violence (FSV) Response Program is a strategic initiative anchored by Faith for Justice and ArchCity Defenders.

We support surviving families of those killed by the police and/or who died in state custody in the St. Louis region. Our services are free, volunteer-run, and open to all surviving families.

Learn more about the Fatal State Violence (FSV) Response Program


PACT-STL supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability, and well-being of families through a continuum of community-based services and supports. PACT-STL is a program initiative of Vision for Children at Risk and focuses its efforts in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis.

PACT-STL's community and parent cafes, and executive committee meetings are hosted at Deaconess Center.

Learn more about PACT-STL


Project LAUNCH

Project LAUNCH aims to promote the wellness of young children, from birth to 8, by addressing the social, emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral aspects of their development. Project LAUNCH-STL provides local communities the opportunity to disseminate effective and innovative early childhood mental health practices and services, ultimately leading to better outcomes for youth children and their families.

Project LAUNCH community cafes, training sessions and Local Council meetings are held at Deaconess Center.

Learn more about Project LAUNCH

St. Louis Child Abuse and Neglect Network

The St. Louis Child Abuse & Neglect Network (STLCANN) was established in June 2017 as a result of the merger of the St. Louis Family & Community Partnership and the St. Louis Area Council on Child Abuse & Neglect. Both organizations share a commitment to quality treatment for children and families who are affected by abuse and neglect and to strengthening families to prevent abuse and neglect. The two organizations have partnered on projects and events in recent years. We’re growing stronger together!

St. Louis Child Abuse and Neglect Network’s board meetings, self-evaluation committee meetings and training sessions happen at Deaconess Center.

Learn more about the St. Louis Child Abuse and Neglect Network

System of Care

System of Care St. Louis Region (SOC) connects children, young adults and their families to complete care for those with, or at risk for, serious emotional disorders.

The St. Louis System of Care council, executive committee and family leadership cabinet meet at Deaconess Center.

Learn more about System of Care St. Louis Region