Caring Communities is Missouri’s ambitious cross-system reforms initiative. This work grew from several community and state initiatives. Two initiatives launched in the late 1980s gave a cohesive shape and direction to the state’s approach. St. Louis Walbridge Caring Communities Program demonstrated the importance of neighborhood-based efforts linked to schools. The family preservation initiative showed the value of cross-agency planning and program implementation.

In November 1993, Governor Carnahan established the Family Investment Trust as a state-level entity. The name of the organization was changed to Family and Community Trust by executive order of Governor Bob Holden on April 2, 2001. The Family and Community Trust’s charge is to provide leadership in collaboration with Caring Communities Community Partnerships to measurably improve the condition of Missouri’s families, children, individuals, and communities; and to encourage collaboration among public and private community entities to build and strengthen comprehensive community-based support systems.

By developing community-based supports and services, the aim is to enhance the well-being of children, which is inseparable from the well-being of their families and the stability and economic viability of the communities where they live.