$20 million awarded to Kansas programs focused on keeping families together

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Around $20 million has been awarded to organizations in Kansas for programs that are meant to keep families together and children out of foster care.

Included in this funding are programs of Kansas Legal Services, the Kids2Kin kinship navigation program and the Parent Advocacy primary prevention program. Read more about our Kids2Kin program.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Tuesday, Feb. 14, that to reinforce her commitment to children and families in the Sunflower State, a new set of Family First Prevention Grants which total nearly $20 million have been awarded. These grants will create and help programs grow that are meant to keep families together and prevent children from entering foster care.

Gov. Kelly noted that current Family First Prevention programs have proven successful and have helped more than 3,000 children in Kansas remain with their families and stay out of foster care.

“Family First programs have been proven to keep families together, improving outcomes for our children long-term and saving our state money down the road. They have contributed to the nearly 20% drop in the total number of children in foster care since the start of my administration,” Kelly said.

“That’s why we have worked across the aisle to direct both state and federal funding to expanding these successful programs.”

In 2019, Kelly said Kansas became one of the first states to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, bipartisan federal legislation that allows states to direct federal foster care money to prevention programs meant to keep families together. The governor praised the legislature for its support and cooperation to create such legislation.

“None of this would have been possible without the bipartisan support of the legislature, which recognized the importance of the Family First Prevention Services Act,” said Governor Kelly.

“By working across the aisle, we passed a budget that increased funding for Family First by more than five million dollars, so that we can draw down even more federal funding.”

The Governor indicated that the Kansas Department of Children and Families has used these funds to treat mental health, build parent skills, prevent substance use and aid family members who serve as primary caregivers.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work DCF and our partner agencies have done on behalf of Kansas families,” said DCF Secretary Laura Howard.

“We know that Family First programs are a primary factor in the overall reduction in foster children in Kansas, with nearly 90% of children who received the services remaining at home with their families without the need for foster care.”

 

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