TOPEKA – Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore on Monday, May 13, called attention to foster care in Kansas with a proclamation signing and informational event for legislators to meet with foster care stakeholders and youth who have been part of the foster care system.
“Every child deserves a loving home,” Secretary Gilmore said. “Many of the children in foster care come from difficult situations, but despite their circumstances, are able to achieve amazing things.
Governor Brownback designated May as Foster Care Month. During the proclamation signing, he was introduced to Daniel Martin who aged out of foster care. Daniel joined the United States Army and then enrolled in college in Wichita. He graduated this past weekend from Newman University with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and criminal justice. He is also a DCF employee. He recently was recognized for his outstanding work to help the department survey other youth who have aged out of the system.
“Daniel serves as an example to other children in foster care,” Governor Brownback said. “A little support, encouragement and care can go a long way; foster children can achieve anything they put their minds to.”
Secretary Gilmore emphasized the need for Kansas families to open their homes to foster children. There are currently more than 2,520 licensed/approved family foster homes in the state. Many children age out of the system and face difficult circumstances related to housing, education, employment and more.
“DCF workers and its contracted partners are committed to helping children find stability through family reunification,” Secretary Gilmore said. “But when that’s not possible, foster families and adoption are essential to allow children to know they are loved.”
Some of the criteria to become a foster parent:
- At least 21 years old
- Successfully pass several background checks
- Sufficient income to support a foster child’s basic needs
- Undergo a family assessment
- Complete a 10-week Partnering for Safety and Permanence-Model Approaches to Partnership in Parenting program
- Obtain and maintain sponsorship
- First aid training
- Home must meet Kansas Laws and Regulations for Licensing Family Foster Homes for Children, monitored by the Kansas Department for Health and Environment
- Obtain eight hours of training each licensing year
Those interested in becoming foster parents can contact the Children’s Alliance at 877-345-6787.