How We’re Strengthening Kansas Children & Families
KVC Kansas is a team of social workers, therapists, family support workers, and other child welfare and behavioral health professionals who are passionate about strengthening children and families. Our agency is one of two lead nonprofits providing preventative child welfare and foster care services on behalf of the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).
2019 Changes to the Child Welfare System
This year, DCF is making several changes to the child welfare system:
- Family Preservation – KVC Kansas is the current provider of this critical family-strengthening work in half of the state, using evidence-based practices to safely prevent children from entering foster care. We submitted a proposal in April 2019 to continue our work. New family preservation contracts will be announced soon and begin in January 2020.
- Foster Care Case Management, Reunification and Adoption (Permanency) – DCF has selected KVC Kansas to continue providing foster care case management, reunification and adoption services in 11 counties including Johnson (Olathe/Overland Park area), Douglas (Lawrence), and Shawnee (Topeka) for the next four years. Effective October 1, 2019, we will transfer foster care case management responsibilities in two areas of the state to other providers. Read the details and see a map here.
- Foster Family Training & Support (Child Placing Agency) – We will continue to recruit, train and support foster families across the entire state of Kansas. This work is not based on state contracts, and thus there is no need for foster families to transfer to another agency. Learn more here.
- Placement Matching System – DCF is moving toward a new software system which will contain all of the available foster homes in Kansas. The goal is to place children with the best match of a foster family, ideally in the child’s school district and home community. Beginning in 2001, KVC Kansas also developed and continually enhances its own sophisticated software that does this called Matching Families.
Safely Reducing the Number of Kansas Children in Foster Care
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.
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. View all of the statewide performance outcome reports here.
- Safety in Family Preservation – The performance standard is that 95% of families are safe during family preservation services, especially in the first 90 days. KVC is exceeding this with 99.7% safety in the Kansas City region and 98.2% in the East region.
- 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 3.75 in the Kansas City Metro region and 4.77 in the East region.
- Placement in Family-Like Settings – In both regions (Kansas City Metro and East), we are caring for appx. 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%. 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.
Learn more about our vision for transforming foster care in America:
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 to KVC Team
- How We Can Improve the Child Welfare System as a Community
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.