Niles has been a safe haven for children since 1883 when Samuel Eason, an African-American bricklayer, began caring for homeless and orphaned children he found in his neighborhood near the historic 18th and Vine area. Previously called Niles Home for Children, Niles is striving to build a broad continuum of services to offer those in our community.
When Niles joined the KVC Health Systems family in 2017, our leadership took time to reflect on our guiding principals and purpose. KVC’s mission, vision and values so closely aligned with ours, we knew our new partnership was the right one for Niles to continue to improve the lives of children and families in Kansas City.
To enrich and enhance the lives of children, adults, families, and communities with tools to thrive by providing compassionate trauma-focused mental and behavioral healthcare, social services and education.
To become the provider of choice in behavioral healthcare and child welfare by demonstrating leadership through excellence in quality, service delivery, and professional expertise.
We have always operated with guiding values. They include putting people first, celebrating diversity, including youth/family voice and choice in every decision, acting with urgency, treating others as we want to be treated, innovating at the speed of science, working hard, striving for excellence, and always doing the right thing. Learn more here.
The Niles history of helping children and teens in the Kansas City area is long. Niles has been a safe haven for children since 1883 when Samuel Eason, an African-American bricklayer, began caring for homeless and orphaned children he found in his neighborhood near the historic 18th and Vine area.
In 1896, the organization was incorporated under the name of the “Colored People’s Charity Association.” After Mr. Eason’s passing in the early 1900s, Dr. Katherine B. Richardson, founder of Children’s Mercy Hospital, and other civic-minded citizens launched a campaign to build a new home to serve the needs of homeless children. In 1924, local philanthropists Frank and Emma Niles donated land and constructed a mansion to house up to 100 children on the same site as the current facility on East 23rd Street.
In the 1960s, the agency evolved from a custodial home to a residential treatment center to serve children with emotional challenges. Also during that time, the agency made a decision to open its services to children of all races. Through its Residential Treatment Program, Niles now serves as a state-appointed foster parent for up to 35 children at a time. These children have suffered trauma caused by abuse, neglect and abandonment.
In 1987, Niles Prep Behavioral Management and Day Treatment was created to serve Niles residents and area students from surrounding school districts needing academic, emotional and behavioral intervention.
In 2017, Niles began a partnership with KVC Health Systems. The partnership is strengthening behavioral healthcare best practices, high-quality support staff, and cutting-edge training to Niles and expanding KVC Health Systems’ broad continuum of care with a unique short-term treatment facility for youth. Read more about the partnership here.