What does it take to Raise a Child in St. Louis?

Barnes Jewish Children’s (BJC) hospital wanted to develop a new early prevention program for low-income families in St. Louis City for children from birth to school age. Keeping families engaged for that period would require strong community input and BJC sought out the SSDL for help with community engagement. The SSDL first convened a series of workshops with providers and local universities to help design and evidence informed braided program with BJC, Nurses for Newborns, and Parents as Teachers. For families to stay engaged over the years, the program had to be meaningful and community input was critical. The SSDL worked with BJC and Wohl Community Center to provide a set of workshops for moms and dads on what it takes to raise a child in St. Louis. The resulting causal loop diagram was used to identify what would make services meaningful to parents. The results have been used by the Raising St. Louis advisory board and informed the design of surveys as part of the program evaluation.

Project Lead

Peter Hovmand, PhD

Start-End Date

January 2013-2014


St. Louis, MO, USA


Sponsor: Barnes Jewish Children’s Hospital (BJC) Raising St. Louis


Nurses for Newborns

Parents as Teachers

Wohl Community Center

Project Goals

Substantive Question: What does it take to raise a child in St. Louis? 

Outcome/Impact: Identify what would make the services of a new early prevention program for low-income families in St. Louis meaningful to parents.