Strengthening the Kansas Child Welfare System

Birth parents, foster parents, legislators, education leaders and others gather at KVC’s Community Forum in October 2017.

KVC Kansas is dedicated to strengthening children and families. We’re one of the lead nonprofits providing preventative and foster care services on behalf of the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Our priorities are to ensure safety; provide high-quality, effective services; and in order to accomplish those, support our amazing team of social workers, therapists, family support workers and other professionals.

Earlier this year, we shared an article called “Too Many Children in Foster Care: KVC Kansas Shares Challenges and Solutions.” This article contains an infographic that explains major changes that have happened over the last five years, and how we can work to address several challenges.

 


Changes to the Kansas Foster Care and Family Preservation Contracts

The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has announced the new foster care and family preservation grant awards, with a start date of July 2019. DCF intends to award KVC Kansas the following grants:

  • Foster Care, Reintegration, Adoption Case Management Services for Region 6 (Johnson & Douglas Counties)
  • Foster Care, Reintegration, Adoption Case Management Services for Region 3 (Shawnee, Jefferson, Wabaunsee, Jackson, Pottawatomie, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown & Doniphan counties)

KVC will continue to serve current family preservation clients under the current contract through June 2020. All clients referred for services during the current contract will receive their full year of services from KVC which can extend through June 30, 2020.

Why the Change?

For the past year, DCF has been straightforward about its desire to involve more providers through the new grants. As we have shared, there has been a 48% increase in the number of children in foster care over the last six years. Now more than ever, it’s critical that there are more individuals, families and organizations working to strengthen Kansas families and prevent child abuse and neglect. KVC has been through many large contract changes and is committed to ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of services to benefit children and families.


Additional Articles from KVC:

 


KVC’s Performance on Federal Outcomes

KVC Kansas is exceeding outcomes in some of the most important areas like child safety, placement in family settings, placement with relatives, and keeping siblings together.

  • Child Safety in Foster Care – KVC is exceeding the contract performance outcome for preventing maltreatment in foster care. Compared to the national standard of 8.50 victimizations per 100,000 days in foster care (lower is better), our rate is 6.39 in the Kansas City Metro region and 6.45 in the East region.
  • Placement in Family-Like Settings – In both regions (Kansas City Metro and East), we are caring for over 93% of children in family-like settings instead of group homes. This exceeds the outcome standard of 90%. Read more about why and how we right-sized congregate care.
  • Placement with Relatives – Also in both regions, we are placing over 32% of children with relatives which exceeds the outcome standard of 29%. We also match a high percentage of youth with non-related kin such as neighbors, teachers, and coaches. The familiarity of these caregivers has a positive influence on children and safely reduces their time in foster care.
  • Keeping Siblings Together – In the Kansas City Region, we are exceeding the goal to place 78% of siblings together while in foster care. In the East region, we are 3% away from the goal and working quickly to meet it as the connection between siblings is so important.

Learn more about our vision for transforming foster care in America.

 


Statement on Contractor Fines

In response to the Sept. 28, 2018 article, “Kansas child welfare chief says contractors will be fined if kids sleep in offices,” we shared the following:

We agree with the Secretary that there are too many children in foster care, nowhere near enough placements, and the system is underfunded, but on penalties, we disagree. Thinking that financial penalties will improve an overwhelmed, underfunded child welfare system is counterproductive. We are a nonprofit organization and, despite the fact that this is a cost-based contract, we are already losing unsustainable amounts of money each month to keep children out of offices. The system desperately needs resources, not fines. Social workers on the frontlines need options, and children and families need more advocates. We agree that children should not sleep in an office. It’s never our choice for a child to stay in an office; when it’s happened, it’s because a full night of making phone calls to foster families, group homes, and treatment facilities resulted in no available beds. Solutions will be found in prevention, funding and capacity building; not penalties.

 


Get Involved – We Need You!

Want to get involved? We need everyone to play a role in strengthening children and families. Get inspired to help and advocate for others by watching these family success stories. You can also provide temporary care for a child in need, become a child’s permanent family through adoption, donate online, or browse open positions on the KVC team.

Visit the KVC Kansas website here or call us at (913) 499-8100. You can also connect with us on Facebook.