The caring staff at Missouri Girls Town provides a loving, family atmosphere for all the girls living in our community – something many of our clients never experience before coming to Girls Town. We offer these young ladies the tools to help them grow to adulthood, and teach them life skills that help prepare them to care for themselves and their own families one day.
The rural Missouri schools near our campus also have access to our programming. Currently, Missouri Girls Town licensed clinicians provide in school mental health care to children in Montgomery and North Callaway School Districts. This allows children to stay in school, removes the barrier of transportation keeping one from attending and the fact that a parent or caregiver would have to take off work to attend therapy sessions. All children, regardless of their socio-economic background, are eligible to seek therapy and education from Missouri Girls Town staff.
Missouri Girls Town Foundation, Inc. is a private 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1953 by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Missouri, an organization of more than 4,000 women still generously supporting Girls Town. Jenny Preiss assumed the role of Executive Director in 2017. Melissa Blumer, LCSW, MSW, is our director of clinical services. Missouri Girls Town is a member of the Alliance for Children and Families as well as the Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.
From the very beginning, Missouri Girls Town has concentrated on providing care and treatment for abused and neglected girls. By staying focused only on girls, we have been able to build a program of parenting and counseling that fits the needs of teenage girls traumatized by abuse and neglect.
Since 2017, the licensed clinical staff at Missouri Girls Town have also ventured off campus to provide in-school mental heath care to area schools. Montgomery School District and North Callaway School District currently utilize therapists from MO Girls Town who sit in their buildings to provide therapy and education to their children. This outreach program has increased the ability of MO Girls Town to impact the community, thus improving matriculation rates and reducing at risk behaviors in these counties. The goal of this program is to help children stay in their homes, help families learn to cope with children who have experienced trauma, abuse and/or neglect and to help schools access much needed intervention services to improve outcomes.
When a new client arrives at the Girls Town campus, they have typically been through nine failed placements. These placements may include foster care or other residential centers, hospitalization, relatives, and failed adoptions. These adolescent girls are between the ages of eight and twenty-one and are in need of a therapeutic, structured living environment that addresses emotional and behavioral disorders.
Our clients are referred through the Missouri Division of Family Services, the Department of Mental Health, area school districts or the juvenile courts. Every effort is made to place young women at Missouri Girls Town who will have an excellent chance to succeed in our caring, structured environment.