Membership Update

Dear Friend,

As a Steering Committee, we are really proud of all of the things the Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families has stood for and achieved over the past 20 years. 

Part of our mission statement states, we want to prevent duplication of services, and that stands true today. The people and groups like yourself, who have been a part of Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families over the years have put their hearts into improving the resources in the community that support healthy children and families. Those resources and programs have come together and expanded so that today there are numerous programs and services available. As a nonprofit, we sometimes say we want to solve the issues we are addressing and we are hoping to work our way out of a need to exist.  In a way, KACF has done that.

The work of the Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families is not going to stop it is merely transitioning in ways that make sense through the newly formed Region I Behavioral Health Board and its sub-committees as well as the Kootenai County Substance Abuse Council. 

The Spot on Media campaign will be transitioning under the Kootenai County Substance Abuse Council whose members are very active in the schools and in promoting substance abuse prevention among our youth.  We recently received a grant for $40.237 to continue the work.  Those dollars will follow the work under the Substance Abuse Council.

Since 1995, the Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families has been working in our community to bring together nonprofits and other organizations to focus on building strong children and strong families. The Alliance’s role has been to promote collaboration, bring organizations and programs together, and eliminate the duplication of services.

The newly formed Region I Behavioral Health Board, under the Department of Health and Welfare, has been designed to facilitate this type of work within the region. With that in mind, the steering committee of the Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families is transitioning its work to this very capable group. 

KACF is making a $10,000 gift from our unrestricted funds to the Region I Behavioral Health Board’s Children’s Mental Health Sub-Committee. The gift will be used for their work in Trauma Informed Care.

This gift to the Children’s Mental Health Sub-Committee is a natural progression of the work Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families helped to start in our community. The Behavioral Health Board will continue this important work. Preventing adverse childhood experience, as well as appropriate support and treatment for those who have had these experiences is extremely important in improving some of the worst health and social problems in our communities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, as well as poor quality of life in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.”

Trauma-Informed Care is described as an approach engaging people with histories of trauma (or these adverse experiences), recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms, and acknowledging the role that trauma has played in their lives.

The Region One Behavioral Health Board and KACF recently partnered to bring the well-attended, Building a Trauma Informed Model and Making a Paradigm Shift in Our Communities workshop to Kootenai County.

KACF has been responsible for spearheading and providing oversight and resources for several prevention activities and services in our community. Some of these include:

  • VOICE Student-to-Student Mentoring Programs
  • "Spot On" Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Media Contest (formerly Real Teens, Reel Change) The Spot On Media Contest has engaged local youth in the creative process of developing a drug prevention campaign since 2009. The project takes the winning idea and turns it into a widespread media campaign.
  • Kid’s Day in the Park
  • The North Idaho Family Magazine
  • Idaho Drug Free Youth’s Idaho Youth Summit
  • The GAP Program (Before and After School Program)
  • Communities That Care (CTC) Prevention Planning System
  • Idaho Drug Free Youth Chapter Support
  • "High is a Lie" Meth Prevention Campaign
  • KinCare/Relatives as Parents (RAP)
  • Party Patrols – reducing underage drinking at local parties
  • Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Trainings
  • Quarterly Lunch & Learn Trainings on Topics Such As:
    • Understanding Mental Health
    • Teen Dating Safety
    • Underage Drinking
    • Suicide Prevention
    • Cyberbullying
  • And many other ongoing work groups and committees were formed as a result of the Alliance.

As the steering committee we would like to thank you for your role in helping us accomplish all of these things in our community. It is through the collaboration and partnership of all the organizations and people that make up our membership, that we were able to make such a positive impact on Kootenai County’s children and families. We will continue this great work through the Region I Behavioral Health Board and the Kootenai County Substance Abuse Council.


Caryl Johnston,
Steering Committee Chair

Cindy Wood
Steering Committee Chair Elect

Debbie Nadeau
Steering Committee Past Chair

Nancy Irwin
Steering Committee Member

Lori Dahlke
Steering Committee Member