UMKC Centers and Institutes: Institute for Human Development

The UMKC Institute for Human Development exemplifies the University’s goals by practicing engaged scholarship, supporting research to practice so that people, agencies, and the community can reach their fullest potential. Throughout the years, it has become increasingly apparent that by focusing on members of underserved populations, whether defined by gender, culture, or economic status, we can impact the quality of life for more members of our community. We believe our work is most effective when we are able to successfully increase the self-determination, cultural competency, and social capital of all of our citizens. Briefly, the focus of the Institute for Human Development is to develop partnerships (in the university, community, state, and nation) for effective social change.

IHD houses over 60 projects and several centers, including the Missouri University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Family to Family (a resource center for families), and Alianzas (a resource center for Latino populations in Missouri). IHD conducts and collaborates on a wide variety of applied research projects to develop, implement, and demonstrate as well as evaluate new ideas and promising practices that support healthy, inclusive communities. Through our interdisciplinary university training we infuse best practices into the curriculum of graduate and undergraduate students in a wide range of professional disciplines. Through community services and supports, IHD assists individuals, community and state agencies, and university faculty to build the capacity of their programs through needs assessments, technical assistance, grant development, demonstrations, and program evaluation. IHD is also a vital information link through the dissemination of products and the establishment of information resource centers. These resource centers become vital assets to the community as demonstrations of research to practice.

Since IHD also exemplifies the University goal of engaged scholarship and bringing research to practice, one example is the Partnership for Hope.

The Partnership for Hope (PfH) home and community-based services Medicaid waiver was initiated in October 2010 and is now a national model for providing needed community services and supports. The PfH is jointly funded through approximately 18 cents of state general revenue and 18 cents of county funds, which leverage 64 cents of federal funds. As a result, the in-home waiting list for DD services has been dramatically reduced.  In 2012, the Missouri Department of Mental Health contracted with the University of Missouri—Kansas City Institute for Human Development to evaluate the PfH waiver, offering a unique opportunity to study both the economic and program impacts.  Some of the key findings from the PfH evaluation are:

  • For a relatively modest cost ($12,000 annual cap per person), spread across local, state, and federal funds, policy makers are able to enhance family supports that improve the emotional, social, physical, and economic well-being of family caregivers.
  • Participation in the PfH waiver has a statistically significant increase and a medium effect size on overall family quality of life [FQOL composite scores; t(201)=8.30, p<.001, d=0.58.].
  • Analyses of the five-year economic contribution and impact of PfH indicate that a county and state investment of around $9.1 million each:
    • Leveraged almost $30.5 million in federal funds;
    • Contributed over $59.2 million to Missouri’s gross state product (GSP); and
    • Created almost 600 jobs

IHD reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.