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Archive for Monday, October 11, 2010

Great grant

Newly approved grant money gives Kansas University researchers a nice financial boost and a wonderful opportunity to help a lot of troubled children.

October 11, 2010

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A $13.3 million federal grant announced last week is great news for the Kansas University’s School of Social Welfare, as well as troubled foster children across the state.

The five-year grant is one of only six such grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the only one that went to a university. It is the largest single grant ever received by KU’s social welfare school.

KU will partner with the state’s four private foster care providers to create the Kansas Intensive Permanency Project, which will serve about 2,160 Kansas families. These families include children with severe mental health or behavioral problems, problems so severe that the families find it impossible to maintain those children in their homes.

A report released about a month ago indicated that the number of U.S. children in foster care had dropped by 8 percent in the last year. In Kansas, the number was about 9 percent lower. One of the reasons is that people who work with foster children are trying harder to provide the counseling and support that families need so that they are able to reunite with their children.

The KU-led project will focus on children whose behaviors make that reunion particularly difficult. They are the children whose mental health problems disrupt their “social, academic and emotional functioning,” Tom McDonald, KU professor of social welfare, explained in a press release. Those behaviors can include running away, setting fires or being aggressive to other family members, he said, and often result in children staying in foster care longer and perhaps having many placements.

The goal of KU’s grant project is to look at ways for professionals to intervene on behalf of these families. In-home therapy may help deal with children’s extreme behavior. Funds also will be available for medical care or day care that will make it easier for families to cope with their children’s special needs.

These are some of the toughest situations faced by foster care providers not only in Kansas, but across the nation. It’s great to see KU taking a leadership role in this area. The grant is a huge accomplishment for KU and its School of Social Welfare. Congratulations.

Comments

Sherry Warren 4 years, 2 months ago

Congrats to KU SW!

Trained professionals can help these families who struggle with overwhelming problems.

"The goal of KU’s grant project is to look at ways for professionals to intervene on behalf of these families. In-home therapy may help deal with children’s extreme behavior. Funds also will be available for medical care or day care that will make it easier for families to cope with their children’s special needs."

Sounds like children will get help, their families will get help, and income will go to day care and medical providers.

beatrice 4 years, 2 months ago

So let me get this straight -- according to the regular opinions printed here, that horrible socialist President Obama needs to be run out of office because of too much federal spending, but ... hurray for the federal money just given to KU!

I hate federal spending / Thank you for the federal spending! Does that about sum it up?

Either you are for federal spending or you aren't -- you can't have it both ways!

Tea anyone?

amy3602 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes, most KU grant budgets are for salaries but at least the research is being conducted. But it still sounds like the foster children with mental health issues are still the guinea pigs. Can this research project lead to changing the past practices of not meeting the most challenging mental health needs for foster children? We can only hope and pray it does. So letting these foster children go back to their families of origin will help them overcome these mental health issues? I wish the news reporter would dig deeper into this story because it is a new perspective on families of origin being given their damaged foster children back.

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

The State of Kansas contracts for preventive services with some of the same agencies that derive their income from foster care. Hence, there is little incentive to provide preventive services that would lead to family reunification. These agencies prefer placing children in foster care -- and keeping them there -- because they are paid for foster care on a per diem basis. As soon as they do what they're supposed to do -- reunite families -- their money stops.

These monies will not be spent intra state: They will be doled out to the state’s four private foster care providers, AKA, poverty pimps. It is onerous and disgusting that the KU School of Social Welfare has chosen to embrace systematic dis-empowerment, rather than advocating for change.

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