Resources and Info About Foster Care

 

Kansas foster care

  • There are currently 7,600 children in foster care in the State of Kansas.

  • There are approximately 2,700 foster families in the State of Kansas.

  • The average length of stay for a child in foster care for those adopted is 36 months, and 37 months for those who age out of the system.

  • The number of children living apart from their families in out-of-home care has increased almost 39% in comparison to the number of children in out-of-home care in 2011.

  • The average foster home burns out and closes their license and home within 10 months.

  • The majority of children who are removed from the home by the Department of Children and Family Services are placed in a foster home. Other placement options are: relatives, group residential home, independent living, and run away.

  • It takes about 6 months to a year for a foster family to become licensed. The state and the private licensing agencies spend approximately $2,500 to license a home.

  • When homes are not available children go to a group home; a mental health facility; are moved every 24-hours to a home just for the night as the state can get permission for 24 hours for a house to be over capacity; or they sleep in the KVC Kansas office.

  • Over the past year, children in the state’s foster care system have had to spend the night in child welfare contractors’ offices more than 100 times.

Nationally there is a crisis of foster care with most states experiencing an increase in numbers of children in care, and not enough homes to help them. 

  • On any given day, there are approximately 428,000 children in foster care.

  • In 2015, over 670,000 children spent time in foster care.

  • The average number of moves for a child in foster care is 7 times.

  • Despite the common perception that the majority of children in foster care are very young, the average age is 9.

  • While most children in foster care live in family settings,a substantial number, 14% - live in institutions or group homes.

  • In 2015, more than 62,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a much higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults.

*References include: Child Welfare Fact Sheet Sept. 2015; DCF Report 2016 and 2015; KVC Kansas; CWLA "Kansas Children 2017" at cwla.org


Want to Become A Foster Parent?

 

KVC Kansas

In the State of Kansas the foster care system has private contractors who help provide the care for the kids in foster care.  KVC cares for children in more than 30 counties in Eastern Kansas.  You can become a foster parent!  Find out how at

www.kvc.org/services/foster-care/


joy meadows foster families

It is the vision of Joy Meadows to see as many homes as possible within the foster care community.  Initially we will build five homes.  Once the specific land is located and purchased and/or donated, we will begin the process of taking applications for Joy Meadows foster families. Here are a few of the minimum requirements that will apply:

  • You must be currently licensed by DCF and a state-approved foster care agency.

  • You have been a foster parent for a minimum of two years.

  • You are willing to have at least 6 children (or the applicable statutory maximum, being 6 children under the age of 16) in your home.

  • You are financially stable and can provide for your family without assistance of a state foster care stipend, or financial support from Joy Meadows.

  • You agree with the Statement of Faith of Joy Meadows and you feel a calling to serve children from hard places.

Additional materials, complete application, and information will be added once applications are accepted.  For questions please contact Sarah Oberndorfer at 913-449-4919 or info@joymeadows.org


Organizations & Resources

The Blue Door Project – A youth residential home in KCK, providing a safe and supportive environment to help youth reach their fullest potential.

http://www.thebluedoorproject.org/

 

KVC Foster Parent Advisory Board – this group brainstorms new ways that KVC and foster parents can improve the foster care experience for children in care, foster families, and KVC.

https://kansas.kvc.org/services/foster-parent-resources/kvc-foster-parent-advisory-board/

YOUTHRIVE -- A nonprofit organization that supports our foster youth as they transition to adulthood through a unique model.

https://www.youthrive.org

 

Department for Children and Families (DCF)- A resources page created "Foster Kansas Kids" sponsored by DCF

https://www.fosterkskids.org/resources/

 

Care Portal– Connects churches with local children and families in crisis.  Support parents and children in foster care.  Child welfare workers uncover the needs. CarePortal makes local churches aware, giving them a real-time opportunity to respond.

https://careportal.org


nationwide foster care communities

Across the nation there are organizations who are trying to look at this foster care crisis in a new way.  Several variations of foster communities have begun and are finding great success.  Here are some examples.

Bridge Meadows– An intergenerational neighborhood for adoptive and foster parents and senior citizens in Portland Orgeon. www.bridgemeadows.org

Peppers Ranch – Foster care community with over 15 homes for foster families, and support resources and multi-purpose building and recreational activities in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Goal of keeping sibling groups together, and supporting the foster family. www.peppersranch.org

The Treehouse Foundation– Established in 2002 in Easthampton, Massachusetts is a multigenerational community connecting foster families and senior citizens, in a community of twelve family homes and apartments. www.refca.net

Drumm Farm - In Independence, Missouri, a community of foster homes, support services, youth aging-out programs, and farmer's market.  http://www.drummfarm.org/

Hope Meadows – Formerly Generations of Hope, located in Rantoul, Illinois, with the goal of giving homes and purpose to senior citizens, as well as supporting adoptive or foster parents.  www.hopemeadows.org

 

 

 

 

Lions Meadows of Hope – Foster care community launched in August 2015 in Perkins, Oklahoma.  www.lionsmoh.org

Anna's House Foundation – Faith-based organization to provide assistance for foster families, now launching a new foster care community providing homes to foster families in Luther, Oklahoma. www.annashousefoundation.org

New Life Village – Lotcated in Tampa Florida, creates a community of caring for older children and large sibling groups, with supportive seniors in the community as well.  www.newlifevillage.org

The Children's Neighborhood - in For Walton Beach, Florida, since 2008, providing a home to large sibling groups, with five family foster homes and an Opportunity Home with space for young adults that age out of foster care.  www.childrenincrisisfl.org

SOS Children's Village- Illinois - Children are placed in a community of homes with trained and paid foster parents, with the goal of intentional care and keeping siblings together.  www.sosillinois.org


Joy Meadows Is Committed to Keeping Siblings Together

Research shows that there is an important bond between siblings, particularly those who have gone through trauma such as entry into foster care.  Joy Meadows is committed to keeping siblings together in a single-family home placement in order to foster bonds, minimize trauma, and promote resilience so that each child can have the best possible outcome in life.

THE PROBLEM AND BENEFITS:

  • Approximately 2/3rds of children in foster care in the U.S. have a sibling also in care. Many are not placed together. Foster youth describe this experience as "an extra punishment, a separate loss, and another pain that isn't needed." (Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013 - secondary sources are cited there).

  • Sibling relationships take on more importance in child welfare families, research has validated that sibling relationships can promote resilience. A secure attachment to a sibling can diminish the impact of adverse circumstances such as parental substance abuse, mental illness, or loss. (Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013).

  • Siblings are often the only source for continuity, therefore it is especially important to protect these ties as they promote a sense of safety and well-being. (Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013). Separation causes additional loss, grief, and anxiety over their siblings' well-being.

  • The support of siblings is helpful in the immediate adjustment to the trauma of placement, and continues to offer support to the child over the court of time in care and into adulthood. (Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013).

  • Studies show that separated siblings in foster care are at higher risk for negative adjustment outcomes including running away and higher levels of behavior problems, and are the greatest risk for poor mental health and socialization (Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013, citing Courtney, et al, 2005 and Hegar & Rosenthal, 2009).

  • Barriers to placement together: Size of the sibling groups; adequacy of placement resources and support; agency rules regarding the number of children who can be placed together, among others. An interview of caseworkers of kids in care who were separated from their siblings, the most common reason given: "we could not find placement for all" together. Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Sibling Issues in Foster Care," Jan. 2013, citing Leathers, 2005).

OUTCOMES:

  • A Texas study of adult foster alumni found that those who had greater access to their siblings had higher levels of social support, self-esteem, and income, as well as stronger adult sibling relationships than those who did not (McCormick, 2009).

  • Some studies find that children placed with their siblings also experience more stability and fewer disruptions in care than those who were separated. (Albert & King, 2008).

  • Placing siblings in the same home an relieve caseworkers of the obligation to arrange and carry out visits among siblings, and communication between birth and foster families is made more manageable -- giving time and resources to resolution of the issues giving rise to foster care placement.

  • For a list of up-to-date research examining the bond between siblings and the benefits of preserving sibling connections for children in foster care see "Research on the Benefits of Keeping Siblings Together" by the Child Welfare Information Gateway. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/preplacement/culturally-competent/sibling-groups/research/