Juniper Gardens Children's Project, a part of the KU Life Span Institute, was originally founded in the mid-1960s when citizens of Northeast Kansas City, Kansas joined with faculty from the University of Kansas in order to address concerns about the development and education of children in their low-income, inner-city community. Since its inception, JGCP has developed and validated meaningful solutions to major community concerns identified by those who are directly affected - the community residents themselves. The center also provides opportunities for KU faculty and students to learn from the wisdom and life experiences of families from diverse backgrounds. Read more about our history.
Our mission is to promote children’s social well-being and academic achievement by improving the quality of their care and education through the use of evidence-based practices.
- Contributing to the scientific knowledge of how children develop and learn, and how families, teachers and caregivers can most effectively enhance children’s outcomes.
- Translating our research findings and making scientific findings accessible to professionals, parents and the public.
- Building collaborative partnerships with community agencies, organizations, schools, and individuals to help identify problems and generate solutions.
- Sustaining a work environment that promotes collegiality, supports diversity, and promotes the well-being and professional development of all employees.
- Promoting the next generation of researchers who understand the value of working in community settings.
Our research is guided by the following principles:
Evidence-based. All practices disseminated by JGCP are supported by empirical evidence, and those that are under development are building an evidence base using scientifically rigorous methods appropriate for the target population and setting.
Diversity. Research and development conducted at JGCP involves participants from diverse backgrounds.
Community engagement. All research and development activities include participants from local, national, and/or international community partner organizations.
Technology. Technology is used to improve usability, develop innovative interventions, increase access, and support large scale dissemination of evidence-based practices, services and training.
Prevention. Interventions, practices, and tools developed at JGCP support early identification of needs at both the individual and group levels.
Implementation Science. Evidence-based practices are scaled up using evidence-based approaches, and new approaches are developed and tested to further the field’s understanding of effective, large-scale implementation methods.
Quality of Life. Evidence-based practices are developed with the goal of improving targeted outcomes, but also to improve immediate and future quality of life for children and families.