The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is excited to announce a new foster care campaign, designed to recruit potential foster families, provide support to current foster families and increase the public’s awareness about the need for temporary, stable homes for children coming into care in Kansas.
The campaign was announced today, at a news conference and informational fair at the Kansas State Capitol, Topeka. Governor Sam Brownback, DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, foster parents and a young adult formerly in foster care addressed attendees. Governor Brownback also signed a proclamation designating May as Foster Care Month.
“We need more foster parents,” Governor Brownback said. “We’ve got great foster parents, but we need more of them. We have a lot of foster children—children who need homes. We need your home to open up and receive them. We need that, and they need that.”
The campaign will be launch in three phases this year. The first phase, which will fully launch May 15, includes a website designed to centralize the foster care process, and make it easier for families to being their foster care journey.
The website, www.fosterkskids.org
, will feature a live-chat function, where individuals can get their questions answered by a foster care professional, in real time. The next phase of the website, scheduled to launch between June and August, will host a foster parent blog, where current foster families can share their experience with fostering, and connect with interested audiences.
“Every year, we observe national Foster Care Month in May, to call attention to the need for foster families,” Secretary Gilmore said. “There is always a need to become an important person in the life of a child.”
The foster care campaign will also feature a new commercial, set to begin airing in mid-May.
Currently, there are nearly 7,000 children in foster care in Kansas. Jennifer Johnson and her husband, Alan, have fostered Kansas children for six years. They understand the growing need to provide children coming into care a stable, temporary environment. Johnson shared her experience fostering children, and offered what she’s learned along with way.
“I think that’s the most important part when people asked me, “Why are you a foster parent?” Well, because of the kids, of course, and the lessons I’ve learned, fostering on and being successful even in the middle of a disruption. So, while Alan and I became foster parents to change the lives of kids, you know what, those kids changed our lives,” Johnson said.
Governor Sam Brownback speaks about the need for foster families in Kansas at a foster care event at the Kansas State Capitol, Topeka.