Cooperation and Partnerships from State Agencies to Local School Districts Making an Impact
Topeka, Kan. – Graduation rates for children in foster care increased by 5.3 percent during the 2022-23 school year, shared the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) in its annual Foster Care Report Card. The report is a collaboration between DCF and the Kansas State Department of Education.
“I credit these encouraging numbers to our focus on cooperation, coordination, and communication between DCF, the Department of Education, Case Management Providers (CMP) education coordinators and local school districts,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said. “The partnership between groups ensures that the students have access to educational supports and services.”
At Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 students in foster care, as well as all students with mental health concerns, had access to two mental health liaisons to help families access mental health supports. The liaisons worked in close partnership with Saint Francis Ministries Education Coordinators to support students by creating plans for a supportive school environment. Saint Francis Ministries is the CMP in the Geary County area.
“We are seeing that the partnerships not only support students in foster care, but also provide tools within communities to support all students and help avoid a need for foster care through both large and small group interventions,” Secretary Howard continued.
The report provided details on chronic absenteeism, attendance and dropout rates, and enrollment in at-risk preschool programs or special education services. During the 2022-23 school year, the following was noted for students in foster care:
Graduation rates for children in care increased by 5.3 percent.
Chronic absenteeism decreased by 3.9 percent.
Attendance rates increased to 89.1 percent.
Dropout rates decreased slightly.
An increased number of students in care are enrolled in at-risk preschool programs or special education services – 82.1 to 84.4 percent.
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The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) mission to protect children, strengthen families and promote adult self-sufficiency. DCF’s more than 35 service centers across the state offers a wide range of support services including food, utility, and child care assistance, child support services, and employment education and training. DCF also partners with grantees to provide foster care services to children including case planning, placement, life skills, and foster parent recruitment and training. DCF works in partnership with organizations, communities and other agencies to support families, children and vulnerable adults connecting them with resources, supports and networks in their home communities.