Strengthening the Kansas Child Welfare System
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.
Last year, we shared an article called “Too Many Children in Foster Care: KVC Kansas Shares Challenges and Solutions.” The 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.
Additional Articles from KVC:
- KVC Pilot Initiative Aims to Bring Children in Foster Care “Safely Home” In a More Timely Manner
- Degree Related to Social Work? Now You Can Work with Kansas Children in Need
- A Fast, Proven Way to Strengthen the Kansas Child Welfare Workforce
- Too Many Children in Foster Care: KVC Kansas Shares Challenges and Solutions [Infographic]
- Why Child Welfare Privatization Made Kansas a National Leader
- How KVC Kansas Is Supporting and Retaining Its Child Welfare Staff
- Answers to FAQs: Understanding KVC Kansas’ Role in the Kansas Child Welfare System
- Children Need Families | An Open Letter from KVC Kansas President Danielle Bartelli to KVC Team
- How We Can Improve the Child Welfare System as a Community
KVC Kansas Exceeding Federal Performance Standards
KVC Kansas is exceeding federal performance standards in some of the most important areas like child safety, placement in family settings, and placement with relatives.
- Child Safety in Foster Care – KVC is exceeding the federal performance standard 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 4.33 in the Kansas City Metro region and 5.36 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 performance standard of 90%. Nationally the average for states is to care for only 86% of children in family-like settings, and some states are as low as 66%. Read more about why and how we right-sized congregate care.
- Placement with Relatives – Also in both regions, we are placing appx. 34% of children with relatives which exceeds the federal performance standard of 29% (Dec. 2018 data). 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.
- See all data here.
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.