Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $20 Million for Services that Keep Families Together, Reduce Number of Kids in Foster Care

Topeka, KS– Reinforcing her commitment to children and families, Governor Laura Kelly today announced a new set of Family First Prevention grants totaling nearly $20 million. The grants will create and grow programs designed to keep families together and prevent children from entering the foster care system. Current Family First Prevention programs have been a proven success, helping more than 3,000 Kansas children remain with their families and avoid entering 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,” Governor Laura 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, Kansas became one of the first states in the country to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, bipartisan federal legislation that allows states to direct federal foster care funds into prevention programs focused on keeping families together. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has put the funds toward mental health treatment; parent skill building; substance use prevention; and assistance for family members who serve as primary caregivers for grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. 

“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.” 

The new grants: 

  • Expand the number of providers from 11 to 14 
  • Expand statewide an intensive mental health program called Multisystemic Therapy  
  • Fund new substance use disorder services 
  • Fund new parent-skill building partners 
  • Include new primary prevention programs, including a partnership with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department 

DCF awarded grants to the following organizations: 

Substance Use Prevention

Agency Evidence-Based Program FY 2024
DCCCA Substance Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) $921,606
Kansas Children’s Service League Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) $310,344.98
KVC Strengthening Families $200,000
Saint Francis Ministries Seeking Safety $700,000

Parent Skill-building

Agency Evidence-Based Program FY 2024
Child Advocacy and Parenting Services, Inc. (CAPS) Family Mentoring $414,353.92
Great Circle Healthy Families America (HFA) $395,475
Kansas Children’s Service League Healthy Families America (HFA) $1,555,000
FosterAdopt Connect Fostering Prevention $543,134
Kansas Parents as Teachers Association Parents as Teachers Bright Futures Program (PAT) $1,000,000
Saint Francis Ministries Family-Centered Treatment $4,798,000

Mental Health

Agency Evidence-Based Program FY 2024
Community Solutions, Inc. Multisystemic Therapy (MST) $6,409,472
TFI Family Services Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) $1,150,000

Kinship Navigation

Agency Evidence-Based Program FY 2024
Kansas Legal Services Kids 2 Kin $324,158

Primary Prevention Programs

Agency Evidence-Based Program FY 2024
Kansas Legal Services Parent Advocate Program $1,094,577
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Community Support Specialist $85,359

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare evaluated Kansas’ Family First Prevention Services Act programs. Read the most recent statewide evaluation here.  

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