Event Recap: Protecting Kansas Children – A closer look at the legislation

4 Min Read

Aug 31, 2023

By

Kansas Health Institute

The 2023 Kansas legislative session included much focus on the welfare of children in our state, and legislators considered a number of bills addressing a wide variety of topics, including foster care, adoption and other measures to protect Kansas kids. On Aug. 23, 2023, the Kansas Health Institute offered an educational session to hear from lawmakers, agency officials and advocates about the issues addressed during the 2023 session and the work left to do during the upcoming session and beyond.

Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., KHI Senior Analyst & Strategy Team Leader, facilitated a panel of lawmakers and agency officials who discussed child welfare legislation that was passed and considered during the 2023 session and issues that may be discussed during the interim session and the 2024 session. Panelists included:

  • Representative Susan Concannon, Chair, House Child Welfare and Foster Care Committee
  • Secretary Laura Howard, Secretary, Kansas Department for Children and Families
  • Representative Susan Humphries, House Child Welfare and Foster Care Committee
  • Kerrie Lonard, Child Advocate, Office of the Child Advocate
  • Senator Kristen O’Shea, Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight

Valentina Blanchard, KHI Analyst, facilitated a panel of representatives of child welfare advocacy organizations across the state. Panelists included:

  • Mike Fonkert, Deputy Director, Kansas Appleseed
  • Kristalle Hedrick, Vice President of Kansas Programs, FosterAdopt Connect
  • Rachel Marsh, CEO, Children’s Alliance of Kansas
  • John Wilson, President, Kansas Action for Children

A recording of the event is below.

News Coverage of Event


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The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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