Meadowlark House is a collaborative effort dedicated to providing a safe environment that promotes prevention, education, and intervention services to abused and neglected children and families.
The goals of the Meadowlark House are designed to:
- Provide a safe, non-threatening environment where investigative interviews of victims of abuse and neglect are conducted.
- Develop a multidisciplinary approach to the investigation of abuse and neglect which reduces trauma to victims and families.
- Promote a network of communication between community agencies involved in evaluating, investigating, protecting and treating victims of abuse.
- Promote education and awareness of abuse and neglect in the community.
- Coordinate and track investigative and prosecutorial efforts in order to obtain information useful for criminal and civil proceedings.
The Meadowlark House began in 1999 as concerned individuals began to look for a better way to investigate crimes against children, especially sexual abuse. The idea came from law enforcement, social workers and medical providers. They wanted a place to interview child crime victims as well as more training for how to do these interviews and medical exams. At this time, the Crisis Center of Dodge City was chosen as the place to house grants for the Meadowlark House and to provide for the day-to-day operations.
In October 1999, Ford County leased a house at no cost behind the Ford County Health Department on Avenue A to serve as the location to interview children. In May 2001, that house suffered foundation damage through heavy rainfall was condemned by Ford County. At that time, our present location, 1405 Avenue A, was secured. Since our beginning, over 700 children have come through our doors.
In 2002, the Meadowlark House gained Full Membership with the National Children’s Alliance, a process that would later become Accreditation. The Meadowlark House was only the second organization in Kansas to be granted full membership. In 2002, the Meadowlark House was one of only 4 organizations in Kansas to be affiliated with the National Children’s Alliance. We have been Reaccredited two times since then in 2007 and in 2014.
In 2004, our first part-time Forensic Interviewer was hired. By 2013, the Forensic Interviewer became the CAC Coordinator and was a full-time position.
In 2014, the decision was made to formally separate from the Crisis Center. With the assistance of the City of Dodge City, the Meadowlark House was able to apply for enough grants to keep the Meadowlark House open and hire their first CAC Coordinator in June 2015.
In February 2015, the Meadowlark House was recognized in Kansas as a non-profit entity and in September, they were granted 501(3) nonprofit status by the IRS. In October 2015, The Meadowlark House was awarded a grant through the Victims of Crime Act and was able to hire a part-time advocate.
In 2016, the Meadowlark House was the recipient of a Barbeque Fundraiser sponsored by Renew Salon in Dodge City.