TOPEKA – A new support program for families with adopted children was launched today, at an Adoption Month celebration at the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Administration Building, 555 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka.
Governor Sam Brownback proclaimed November National Adoption Month at the event, which was highlighted by the unveiling of the Kansas Post Adoption Resource Center (K-PARC).
K-PARC is a DCF-funded initiative in which the agency collaborated with the Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL) to develop a network of support services and resources for parents of adopted children. This new program offers adoptive parents (of children both from foster care and not) peer support training, parent mentor training, adoptive couples retreats, parent tips and more.
“It’s not easy to raise children,” Governor Brownback told the gathering of adoption practitioners at the celebration. “You can’t do it alone. You need support, whether it’s from your extended family or friends, your faith community or from a program like K-PARC.”
There are currently approximately 350 Kansas children available for adoption in the State’s foster care system. In state fiscal year 2016, 755 children were adopted from foster care.
Paul and Nancy Brownell of Topeka brought their 11-year-old son Brandon, whom they adopted from foster care in 2012, to participate in the celebration.
“It’s great to know that our own governor has adopted and he knows many of the things that we have been through as an adoptive family,” Nancy Brownell said. “With K-PARC as a resource, being around other families who have gone through similar situations, having that support will be very helpful.”
This year, DCF is highlighting the many older youth in foster care who are available for adoption with the theme “We never outgrow the need for family”. Of the 350 children available for adoption in Kansas, about 160 of those fall in the 13-18 year-old age range.
DCF, which divides the state into four regions, works with KVC Kansas in the East and Kansas City Regions, and Saint Francis Community Services in the West and Wichita Regions, to provide adoption services to children in foster care. DCF also works with other organizations to provide adoption services.
ADOPTION DAY IS NOV. 19
DCF’s contracted service providers and several courts around the state will celebrate National Adoption Day on Nov. 19, when many adoptions across the state will be finalized. As the final step of the adoption process, these events are often emotional culminations of months of effort. Media representatives are welcome to attend the adoption celebrations at the following locations to help tell the joyful stories of children who now have an adoptive family.”
Friday, Nov. 18 Wyandotte County Courthouse, Kansas City, Kan., 12:30 p.m. - Approximately 15 adoptions will be finalized
Saturday, Nov. 19 Shawnee County Courthouse, Topeka, 9 a.m. - Approximately 20 adoptions will be finalized
Saturday, Nov. 19 Johnson County Courthouse, Olathe, 10 a.m. - Approximately 10 adoptions will be finalized
DCF is also encouraging faith organizations to educate their members about adoption on Adoption Sunday, Nov.13.
KCSL’s Klicks for Kids, a photographic tribute to children awaiting adoption, will be on display during Adoption Month at the State Capitol in Topeka, Exploration Place in Wichita and Journey the Way Church in Wichita.
To learn more about children who are currently available for adoption, visit www.adoptkskids.org
or call 877-457-5430. On the website, you can view photos and read profiles of each child available for adoption.
(From left to
right: Sharri Black, Deputy Director of Prevention and Protection Services,
DCF; Gail Cozadd, East Region Director, Kansas Children’s Service League; Nancy
Brownell, Topeka adoptive parent; Deputy Secretary David Kurt, Family Services,
DCF; Deneen Dryden, Prevention and Protection Services Director, DCF; Secretary
Phyllis Gilmore, DCF)