News, Views & Newsletters

  • March 30, 2020

     

    To our valued clients,

     

    Kids In The Middle (KITM) places the safety of our clients, guests, and staff as a top priority. We have continued to monitor the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local health departments, and government offices. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the St. Louis region, KITM recognizes that it is critical to prevent the spread of new cases and protect our staff, clients, and community. Therefore, KITM will be extending the following restrictions through Friday, April 24, 2020, with the expectation that services will resume, in office, on Monday, April 27, 2020.

     

    • In addition to continuing the postponement of most Group services, KITM will be conducting Initial Intake Assessments, Consultations, Family, Joint Co-Parenting, and Individual sessions for clients 11 years of age and older via an electronic system, through April 24, 2020. All Agency services are currently expected to resume on Monday, April 27, 2020. Saturday hours will cease beginning March 28 and will not recommence until Saturday, May 3, 2020.

     

    • KITM has implemented a Telehealth system, Doxy.me, where clients will be able to meet with their therapist via video or audio conference.
      • Doxy.me is an easy to use, secure, telemedicine tool that is accessible from desktop, tablet, or smartphone!
      • Your therapist will contact you with additional information regarding your appointment. Clients are also encouraged to reach out to their therapist for questions or concerns.

     

    • For children ten years of age and younger, electronic services will be determined by you and your child’s therapist and may not be appropriate for all children.
      • KITM is offering shorter sessions, 25-30 minutes in length, as an option for Individual Child counseling. This makes it easier to provide video sessions as an option for younger children (10 and younger).
      • Those parents whose children’s services may need to be postponed will receive a phone call once a week by your child’s therapist to check-in, and resources, activities and coping skills will be provided based on the need of the child.
      • Parents are also encouraged to reach out to their child’s therapist directly with questions or concerns.
    • If parents need a session to check-in, specifically about their child, KITM is adding an opportunity for shorter and more frequent Treatment Reviews with your child’s therapist.

     

    • Additionally, some of our groups, may continue via Telehealth.
      • If this applies to you or your child’s group, you will be notified by your child’s therapist.
      • KITM is offering Group Individual services in place of Group services.
      • We have set the expectation with our group members that they must be in a quiet, confidential location and wear headphones to protect confidentiality as much as possible.

     

    • KITM recognizes how difficult this time is for parents and families, and want to continue to provide support to the community remotely.
      • KITM’s parenting class will start on schedule, via Telehealth, on Thursday, April 9 @ 5:30 pm.
      • The parenting class is available to current KITM clients and to parents in the community looking for additional support.

     

    We want you to know that our thoughts are with you and your families as we navigate this unprecedented and unpredictable time.

     

    • If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, Behavioral Health Response has a 24-hour crisis hotline that can be reached at 314-469-6644 or 800-811-4760.
    • If you are experiencing a need for additional resources or help with food, rent and utility payments, please call United Way at 2-1-1 or visit 211helps.org

     

    As we continue to monitor this situation, these procedures are subject to change with new recommendations, which we will keep you informed as soon as they become available.

     

    Wishing you and your families continued health and wellness,

     

     

     

     

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer

  • To Our Kids In The Middle Friends, Families & Supporters,

     

    Kids In The Middle (KITM) recognizes how challenging these last few weeks have been for our community. These are uncertain times for all of us that can create additional stress and anxiety. Our promise to clients, staff, and the community ensure that KITM continues to provide much-needed mental health counseling services for children and families transitioning to a new way of life during and after separation, divorce, remarriage, and other family transitions. Here is what we are currently doing:

     

    • All KITM staff are currently working remotely from the safety of their homes.
    • KITM set up unique Google Voice numbers for staff members so that calls are rerouted to them from the Agency, and the staff can return calls remotely.
    • KITM implemented a secure Telehealth portal for our clients to continue to meet with their therapist and receive much-needed support during this crisis. Clients can also call in using their phone, Facetime, or another electronic device.
    • For younger clients, KITM therapists are reaching out to their parents, offering electronic resources, activities, and coping skills based on the current needs of the child.
    • As always, KITM’s promise to the community is to turn no family away based on the inability to pay for much needed mental health counseling services.

     

    We want you to know that our thoughts are with you and your families as we navigate this unpredictable time.

     

    • If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, Behavioral Health Response has a 24-hour crisis hotline. Please call 314-469-6644 or 800-811-4760.
    • If you are experiencing a need for additional resources or assistance with food, rent and utility payments, please call the United Way at 2-1-1 or visit 211helps.org.

     

    Wishing you and your families continued health and wellness,

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer
  • To our valued clients,

    Kids In The Middle (KITM) places the safety of our clients, guests, and staff as a top priority. Due to the growing concern of the COVID-19 virus and ensuring the health of our clients and staff,  KITM will be conducting services for clients via an electronic system (telephone or telehealth) beginning Monday, March 23. This decision did not come without careful thought, consideration, and planning. Our main objective is to protect the continuity of services and the safety of our staff. KITM has put the following action plan in place to protect the community in which we all live while safeguarding necessary mental health services. We will continue to monitor the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local health departments. As developments continue, the following procedures are subject to change with new recommendations.

    • In addition to continuing the postponement of Group services, KITM will be conducting Initial Intake Assessments, Consultations, Family, Joint Co-Parenting, and Individual sessions for clients 11 years of age and older via an electronic system, through April 3, 2020. All services are currently expected to resume on Monday, April 6, 2020. Saturday hours will cease beginning March 28 and will not recommence until Saturday, April 11.
    • KITM has implemented a Telehealth system, Doxy.me, where clients will be able to meet with their therapist via video or audio conference.
      • Doxy.me is an easy to use, secure, telemedicine tool that is accessible from desktop, tablet, or smartphone!
      • Your therapist will contact you with additional information regarding your appointment. Clients are also encouraged to reach out to their therapist for questions or concerns.
    • For children ten years of age and younger, services are temporarily postponed.
      • Those parents whose children’s services are being postponed will receive a phone call once a week by your child’s therapist to check-in, and resources will be provided based on the need of the child.
      • Parents are also encouraged to reach out to their child’s therapist directly with questions or concerns.

    We want you to know that our thoughts are with you and your families as we navigate this unprecedented and unpredictable time.

    • If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, Behavioral Health Response has a 24-hour crisis hotline that can be reached at 314-469-6644 or 800-811-4760.
    • If you are experiencing a need for additional resources or help with food, rent and utility payments, please call United Way at 2-1-1 or visit 211helps.org

    As we continue to monitor this situation, these procedures are subject to change with new recommendations, which we will keep you informed as soon as they become available.

    Warm regards,

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer

  • To our valued clients,

    Kids In The Middle (KITM) places the safety of our clients, guests, and staff as a top priority. Due to the growing concern of the COVID-19 virus, otherwise known as Coronavirus, we feel it is in our client’s best interest to put additional procedures in place to protect the health and well-being of our community.

    KITM has put the following action plan in place, effective immediately, to encourage social distancing while providing continuity of services during these unprecedented times.

    • KITM will be postponing all group sessions through April 3, 2020. Group services are expected to resume on Monday, April 6, 2020. You and your family’s health and well-being is our priority; clients currently enrolled in group services are encouraged to continue services through Individual therapy sessions with your current group therapist. Your therapist will be reaching out to you to offer that option, but you can also call the office, and someone will assist you in getting scheduled.
    • You are welcome to continue coming to the office for non-group services (Individual parent and child, Family, Joint Co-Parenting, etc.).
    • KITM will be offering Individual Counseling sessions via telephone for our adult clients. If you are currently enrolled in ongoing therapy services, please note, payment is required before your session. Please call the Agency prior to your appointment to arrange payment for your session.
    • We have increased frequency of cleaning, throughout the day and every evening, of any surfaces or toys you and your family may come in contact with at KITM.
    • We have increased the number of sanitizing stations in our common areas, such as the front desk, lobby, and therapy rooms.
    • KITM’s lobby is closed to any waiting parent/guardian.  All of the chairs have been removed and we ask that once you have checked in your family, you return to your vehicle to wait until the session is over.

    We understand this may create an inconvenience for you. However, these precautions are in line with the recommendations of the local public health department and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

    Please note: The office will remain open unless otherwise notified by the local public health department or the CDC.

    Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:

    • If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home.
    • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
    • Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly washed hands.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands.
    • Avoid shaking hands and high-fives.
    • Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else.

    As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our clients, our employees and our community is of utmost concern. As we continue to monitor this situation, these procedures are subject to change with new recommendations, which we will keep you informed as soon as they become available.

    Warm regards,

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer

  • To our valued guests,

    Kids In The Middle has been closely monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local health departments, and organizations for their recommendations and responses to COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus. Our focus is to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests at our events. On Sunday, March 15, Governor Mike Parson “strongly urged” the suspension of public gatherings of 50 individuals or more. Like so many others in the community, we believe it is in the best interest of our guests that we postpone the Celebration of Childhood until Saturday, July 18, 2020.

    This decision was difficult for the Agency, but is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, concern for the health and well-being of our guests and ensuring our event does not contribute to the spread of the virus. We apologize to our guests, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and all of those who have shown their continued support of KITM and its mission to help children and families transition to a new way of life after separation, divorce, and remarriage. We are looking forward to Celebrating Childhood with you on Saturday, July 18, 2020!

    If you are unable to attend the event on its rescheduled date, Kids In The Middle will offer a 100% refund of your purchased ticket or sponsorship. For additional questions or concerns, please contact KITM’s Chief Development Officer, Sarah Barone, at 314-909-9922 ext. 1005 or at SBarone@kitm.org.

    Warm regards,

     

     

     

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer

     

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020

    To our valued clients,

    Your health, welfare, and safety are paramount when you and your family are attending Kids In The Middle (KITM). I wanted to personally reach out to inform you of KITM’s plan in regard to COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus.

    We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the spread of the virus. KITM also has several physicians on the Board of Directors and Advisory Council that the Agency consults with frequently. Our focus is to ensure we meet our guests needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our community safe.

    At this time, there is no cause for concern at KITM however, we will keep you informed if that should change. To be proactive, KITM will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that we have an effective preparedness and management system in place.

    Here are some highlights:
    • We have heightened the frequency of cleaning of the lobby, all hard surfaces, light switches, group, therapy and art rooms, bathrooms, and any other surfaces or toys that you and your family may have contact with during your time at KITM.
    • We have heightened sanitizing stations in our common areas, such as the front desk, lobby and group and therapy rooms.

    Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:
    • If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home.
    • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
    • Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly washed hands.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands.
    • Avoid shaking hands and high-fives.
    • Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else.

    As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our clients, our employees and our community is of utmost concern. We continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed of any updates as soon as they become available.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please call KITM’s Director of Operations, Shannon Chervitz at 314-909-9922 ext. 1009.

    Warm regards,

    Katy Walter
    Chief Executive Officer

  • ST. LOUIS (March 11, 2019) Kids In The Middle (KITM), local non-profit serving children and families, has announced the recipients of the Champion of Kids Award for their dedication to children in the community and the Agency. This year, the Champion of Kids Award will be presented to husband and wife, Phil and Jenn Christofferson.

    Phil and Jenn have been supporters of KITM for 13 years, both volunteering and serving on the Board of Directors. Together, the duo has helped to raise over $177,000 to help provide counseling services for children whose families are experiencing trauma from parental separation, divorce, and remarriage. With a personal connection to the mission, they understand the impact that separation and divorce have on children and their families. READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE.

  • ST. LOUIS (March 11, 2020) – Please join Kids In The Middle (KITM) on Saturday, March 28, 2020, for A Celebration of Childhood at Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa in St. Charles, Mo. This event is a game infused cocktail party that promises to be packed with bright colors, and non-stop entertainment from DJ Nune is Lamar Harris.

    Guests will enjoy interactive games with a Kids In The Middle mission connection, an open bar, and elevated tastes (not your mediocre chicken dish). Wear your brightly colored cocktail attire and join Kids In The Middle for an exciting and unique experience that will bring out the kid in you.

    READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE.

  • ST. LOUIS (Feb. 5, 2020) – Kids In The Middle (KITM) has been awarded $15,000 from the Sunnen Foundation. The grant provides funding for Group and Individual Counseling for Children ages 3 ½ to 18 whose families are experiencing trauma due to parental separation, divorce, remarriage, and other family transitions. Read the full release HERE.

  • ST. LOUIS (Feb. 3, 2020) Kids In The Middle (KITM), a local non-profit agency, has been an approved provider to provide the state-mandated Co-Parenting Education Class (COPE) for the Family Court of St. Charles County and its residents. KITM will begin facilitating classes on February 8, 2020, at their facility in Maplewood, MO. Read the full press release HERE.

  • The Kids In The Middle Board of Directors removed the interim title and announced Katy Walter as its permanent leader. Walter was appointed as interim CEO in July 2019.

    “I’m excited to announce Ms. Walter as the agency’s CEO. She has served the agency for over eight years and brings an exceptional combination of knowledge and experience,” says Bill Clarke, President of KITM Board of Directors. “As our interim CEO for the past four months, Katy has been remarkable in her leadership position, making it an extremely easy decision for the Board.

    Click here to read the full press release.

  • ST. LOUIS (November 26, 2019) – Kids In The Middle (KITM), a non-profit agency, is proud to announce a successful 13th Annual Swirl, Sip & Savor Tasting Event. With over 400 guests in attendance at the Grand Hall on Chouteau, the funds raised will help to provide over 1,900 Group Counseling sessions for children ages 3 ½ to 18 whose families are transitioning to a new way of life before, during and after separation, divorce and remarriage.

    The annual tasting event included 16 local restaurants, 20 wines, six St. Louis craft breweries, and two distilleries. Guests also enjoyed live music from local favorite, Vintage Vibe. In addition to a record turnout of guests, this event included more than 70 volunteers.

    “This was our thirteenth tasting event, and every year we’re not only accomplishing our fundraising goals but continue to increase participation with both guests and St. Louis restaurants, breweries, and distilleries,” says Katy Walter, KITM CEO. “Our Young Professionals Committee does an amazing job executing this event, and we are very grateful for their hard work.”

    For the second year, this event involved a panel of tasting judges of local celebrities, including Donny Fandango, On-Air Personality – 105.7 The Point, Dave Glover, and Rachel Zimmermann On-Air Personalities, The Dave Glover Show – FM Talk 97.1, and retired St. Louis Blues player, Bobby Plager. Each judge tasted and voted on their favorite dishes. Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa won ‘Best Sweet Dish’ for their Boston cream cupcakes, Bogarts Smokehouse received the award for ‘Best Savory Dish” for their pulled pork, and Charred Crust won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for their vanilla ice cream braised pork belly sandwich.

     About Kids In The Middle

    Kids In The Middle (KITM) helps children and families transition to a new way of life before, during and after separation and divorce, for the sake of creating healthier futures for all involved. Founded in 1977, KITM is a nationally accredited non-profit agency that provides comprehensive and confidential counseling, education and support services focused on the entire family.  KITM is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and receives funds from the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund. KITM is located at 2650 S. Hanley Rd. in St. Louis, Mo. For more information, visit www.kidsinthemiddle.org.

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  • Kids In The Middle Director of Development, Sarah Contarini, joined FOX 2 to discuss how you can help raise much-needed funds to provide counseling services for children and families “in the middle” of separation and divorce. Watch the video HERE!

     

  • We’re edging closer to Halloween and while kids are just looking for treats, the trick for divorced parents can be how to celebrate holidays

    Meredith Freeman, CEO of Kids in the Middle, joined Margie Ellisor of STL Moms to talk about some ways to not make the evening so haunting.

    Watch the interview here!

  • Kids In The Middle (KITM), a non-profit organization that empowers children, parents and families during and after divorce through counseling, education and support, is pleased to announce they have received a grant of $2,268 from Cardinals Care. The support will allow Kids In The Middle to purchase a sand tray therapy table, sand tray therapy supplies and art supplies for therapeutic activities. Read Full Press Release

  • KITM was the featured non-profit for the Tips for Charity program for January 2018. The funds raised will provide a group counseling session for more than 132 children whose parents are separated, divorced or remarried. Tapped St. Louis’ Tips for Charity program donates any tips offered at check-out to a local charity. The restaurant pays their employees a living wage so that they do not depend on a tipping system.

    Read more…

  • KITM helps children, parents and families thrive during and after divorce through counseling, education and support. Click here to watch the video.

  • KITM helps children, parents and families thrive during and after divorce through counseling, education and support. Click here to watch the video.

  • I brought my older son years ago when his father and I separated. He was 4 or 5 at the time. My son is now 17, and setting forth into life as a responsible and amazing young adult.

    KITM was the place where he had the security to begin exploring the complex emotions any child faces while his family is changing shape. It’s where he learned how to name those emotions, sort them, and choose how to behave in the face of them. Now that he is 17, I can see the incredible investment we made in his well-being, together. I will be grateful to KITM always.

  • The following article appeared in an edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It is reprinted here with permission from the newspaper and reporter, Susan Weich. 

    Smith’s daughter didn’t want anyone at her school to know her parents had divorced, so an art class project to make a Christmas ornament for her parents presented a problem. How would she decide whether to give the ornament to her mom or her dad?

    “As a parent I worried about these really big things — are my kids going to turn to drugs or start failing in school because of the divorce — but I found out that kids have to deal with a lot of little things that I never imagined,” Smith said.

    Smiths’ daughter shared her problem at a group counseling session of Kids In The Middle, a nonprofit organization started in 1977 that provides support for children and families when parents separate or divorce. “Luckily, she was able to talk with the other kids in the group about how they would handle it,” she said. When her daughter told Smith, she met with teachers and asked them if they could discreetly give her and her younger brother the OK to make two of whatever gifts they made for parents. “There’s not always an easy solution, but now I am more aware of things that could be an issue,” she said.

  • I started going to Kids In The Middle after my mom & dad separated. I was very sad and depressed. And for some reason, I don’t know why, I just started pulling my eyelashes and my eyebrows out. My mom was very upset, but I didn’t want to talk with her. I thought she might get mad at me. So that’s when I went to Kids In The Middle. At first, I was really nervous, and I thought I might get embarrassed about what was going on or if people looked at me. And I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect there. But when I met my therapist, she was really nice and I wasn’t scared anymore. All the therapists were really nice and I liked talking with them. That’s what really helped me the most – just being able to talk to someone else, and I knew they wouldn’t tell anybody what I said, or they wouldn’t judge me.

    I really liked talking with the other kids in the group and hearing what they had to say, because I knew the other kids were going through the same thing as me. And I wanted to see how they handled things. It made me feel not so alone, and it made me feel more normal. The group kind of made me forget about the separation, and sometimes we would even talk about other things that were bothering us, too. The group helped me grow and cope better.

    The therapists taught me how to deal with my feelings and how to handle situations. My therapist gave me a list of how to cope with your worries and your stress. On the list there were healthy ways to cope, and there were unhealthy ways.