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Gov. Kelly Announces Nearly $20 Million in Family First Prevention Grants

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TOPEKA, Kan. – Reinforcing her commitment to children and families, Governor Laura Kelly Tuesday announced a new set of Family First Prevention grants totaling nearly $20 million. The grants will create and grow programs designed to keep families together and prevent children from entering the foster care system. Current Family First Prevention programs have been a proven success, helping more than 3,000 Kansas children remain with their families and avoid entering foster care.

“Family First programs have been proven to keep families together, improving outcomes for our children long-term and saving our state money down the road. They have contributed to the nearly 20% drop in the total number of children in foster care since the start of my administration,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “That’s why we have worked across the aisle to direct both state and federal funding to expanding these successful programs.” 

In 2019, Kansas became one of the first states in the country to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, bipartisan federal legislation that allows states to direct federal foster care funds into prevention programs focused on keeping families together. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has put the funds toward mental health treatment; parent skill building; substance use prevention; and assistance for family members who serve as primary caregivers for grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work DCF and our partner agencies have done on behalf of Kansas families,” said DCF Secretary Laura Howard. “We know that Family First programs are a primary factor in the overall reduction in foster children in Kansas, with nearly 90% of children who received the services remaining at home with their families without the need for foster care.” 

The new grants: 

  • Expand the number of providers from 11 to 14 
  • Expand statewide an intensive mental health program called Multisystemic Therapy  
  • Fund new substance use disorder services 
  • Fund new parent-skill building partners 
  • Include new primary prevention programs, including a partnership with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department 

DCF awarded grants to the following organizations: 

Substance Use Prevention

Agency

Evidence-Based Program

FY 2024

DCCCA

Substance Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

$921,606

Kansas Children’s Service League

Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP)

$310,344.98

KVC

Strengthening Families

$200,000

Saint Francis Ministries

Seeking Safety

$700,000

Parent Skill-building

AgencyEvidence-Based ProgramFY 2024
Child Advocacy and Parenting Services, Inc. (CAPS)Family Mentoring$414,353.92
Great CircleHealthy Families America (HFA)$395,475
Kansas Children’s Service LeagueHealthy Families America (HFA)$1,555,000
FosterAdopt ConnectFostering Prevention$543,134
Kansas Parents as Teachers AssociationParents as Teachers Bright Futures Program (PAT)$1,000,000
Saint Francis MinistriesFamily-Centered Treatment$4,798,000

Mental Health

AgencyEvidence-Based ProgramFY 2024
Community Solutions, Inc.Multisystemic Therapy (MST)$6,409,472
TFI Family ServicesParent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)$1,150,000

Kinship Navigation

AgencyEvidence-Based ProgramFY 2024
Kansas Legal ServicesKids 2 Kin$324,158

Primary Prevention Programs

AgencyEvidence-Based ProgramFY 2024
Kansas Legal ServicesParent Advocate Program$1,094,577
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s OfficeCommunity Support Specialist$85,359

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare evaluated Kansas’ Family First Prevention Services Act programs. Read the most recent statewide evaluation here 

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