nonprofit for child abuse intervention and prevention in Shawnee

About Sunflower House

 

Sunflower House is a non-profit organization for child victims of abuse that was founded in 1977.

It is a non-residential children’s advocacy and abuse prevention center serving Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

The questions, “What would I want for my child if he or she were abused?” and “How can we stop the cycle of child abuse?” drive every decision made at Sunflower House.

Our agency addresses abuse and neglect through a comprehensive approach, engaging children, parents, child-serving professionals and the community. Sunflower House is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance. Accreditation through this national affiliate ensures adherence to best practice standards of its federally recognized multidisciplinary approach to child abuse investigations.

Our Mission

Our mission at Sunflower House is to protect children in our community from physical and sexual abuse through education, advocacy, forensic, medical, and therapeutic services.

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Our Vision

Our vision at Sunflower House is to see safe children thriving in nurturing families and communities.

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Our History

The Child Abuse Prevention Coalition (CAPC) was founded in 1977 to provide education and advocacy to prevent child abuse.

In 1997, the CAPC merged with the developing Sunflower Children’s Center to become Sunflower House, Inc., a state-of-the-art, non-residential children’s advocacy center providing innovative, research-based child abuse education and intervention programs.

 

The first Children’s Advocacy Center of its kind in the State of Kansas, Sunflower House continues to build upon its successful abuse assessment and education programs that create safe families and communities. Sunflower House is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance and a certified United Way agency.

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Learn more about Sunflower House and the work we do as a charity for children affected by abuse in Johnson and Wyandotte counties by contacting us today.

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Our Leadership

Michelle Herman

Michelle Herman

President and CEO 

Sara Lissauer

Sara Lissauer

Director of Resource Development 

Cindy Riddell

Cindy Riddell

LMSW, Child Assessment Program Director 

Bev Turner

Bev Turner

Education Program Director

Letter from the President

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Topeka and sit down with Governor Laura Kelly. I attended that meeting with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kansas Director, Julianne Walker and CAC of Sedgwick County Director, Diana Schunn. Our purpose in meeting with Governor Kelly was to raise her awareness of the fact that while the need for children’s advocacy center (CAC) services across the state have been on a steady incline since 2008 (up by 179 percent), the funding from the State general fund has been on a steady decline (down by 25 percent).

In 2008 across the state of Kansas there were less than 2000 children that were served following a report of abuse, while in 2019, that number has risen to nearly 5000 children annually.

In my years with Sunflower House, I have experienced first-hand the important work of children’s advocacy centers and am proud that we are able to participate in this work.

 

The services of a CAC add to the effectiveness of the child protection system by supporting the work of the Department of Children and Families, local law enforcement, and prosecution. In addition CACs help provide critical trauma-focused support for the child and the non-offending caregivers to decrease additional trauma and lessen the likelihood that children will need to be placed outside the home.

I don’t know if our meeting with Governor Kelly was effective in garnering more financial support from the State, but I do know that I am more committed than ever to the importance of our work. Children need to be supported following traumatic events that are beyond their control and they deserve to grow and heal and ultimately be provided the opportunity to become productive adults.

I thank you for your support in the work that we do. With the decline in state funding, it is more imperative than ever that we continue to raise funds through private sources. Thank you for your help along the way.

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