Community Conversation about Children’s Mental Health and Foster Care
Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope, a coalition of advocacy groups and individuals, will host a public forum on children’s mental health and foster care issues at 6:30 p.m. on April 10, 2018, at the Prairie Village Colonial Church (7039 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS).
“Mental health and social services have been drastically underfunded in the last years, and we’ve also, at the same time, seen a huge increase in the number of children coming into foster care,” said Becky Fast, executive director of the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, a member organization of Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope. “At this event, we’ll talk about how we can impact change to support the child through the community, the schools and the foster care system.”
Guest speakers will include Tim DeWeese, director of Johnson County Mental Health; David Aramovich, social worker, Shawnee Mission School District; Michael Pahr, Kansas Appleseed Public Policy Director; and Don Jordan, former secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (now the Department for Children and Families).
The event is open to the public, especially those interested in meeting children’s mental health needs, child welfare-involved individuals and families, social workers and foster parents.
In recent months, several legislators have questioned both the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ oversight of the state’s foster care contracts, and the record-breaking numbers of children in the state custody.
Kansas’ foster care system cared for about 5,200 children in 2010; As of Feb. 2018, it cares for more than 7,300.