TOPEKA – Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore announced Tuesday that the State of Kansas has been selected to participate in the National Governor’s Association’s (NGA) Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being. Kansas is one of seven states chosen to focus on improving the social and emotional well-being of children in foster care through an integrated and comprehensive approach that aligns the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
“Kansas has a unique opportunity to offer valuable input into how child welfare services should be provided,” Governor Brownback said. “We can share with other states how our system has improved the lives of so many children, while learning what more we can do.”
DCF submitted an application to participate and recently received word of the selection. A team is now being assembled to represent the department and State of Kansas on the panel.
The goal of the institute is to develop state-specific plans to promote and measure well-being among children and youth who receive child welfare services; consider evidence-based and research-informed strategies that will have a positive effect; and coordinate and enhance existing efforts through cross-system collaboration and by leveraging Medicaid and other federal and state dollars to fund innovative practices.
NGA will host a two-day meeting soon for the selected states. It will also be available for ongoing support with its partners the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and national Council of State Courts.
“We look forward to this collaboration,” Secretary Gilmore said. “I believe Kansas’ participation will lead to great outcomes for youth all across the country.”
Other states selected include Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.