Kansas Department for Children and Families
TOPEKA–Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore is pleased to announce that KVC Health Systems, one of the State’s two foster care contractors, has been awarded a $516,600 federal grant to put tablets in the hands of foster families in eastern Kansas and Kansas City.
This technology will allow children in foster care to have a direct link to behavioral healthcare services such as therapy and ongoing education videos.
“Foster parents provide a tremendous service to children in need of care,” Secretary Gilmore said. “This is one more tool that will help them provide the best foster care possible. We are grateful to KVC for utilizing this technology.”
KVC’s MyLink program is a robust, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing program that uses iPads to give children in foster care increased access to therapeutic and crisis intervention services. The tablets also deliver State-required training to foster parents. The tablets are restricted in use and can only be used for the intended purposes.
The grant funding will connect 850 foster families in the Midwest to needed resources. The program was launched last year, with 160 foster families receiving the technology in West Virginia and Kentucky. KVC provides services to families in Kansas, Nebraska, West Virginia and Kentucky.
The new United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants total $516,600, which will be combined with $170,606 in KVC matching funds, for a total program expansion of $687,206. KVC Kansas will receive $355,100 of that amount to increase access for nearly 3,000 children in foster care via telemedicine annually and 550 foster homes via distance learning, all within the 30 Kansas counties served by KVC.
“This KVC MyLink expansion will not only change everyday life for thousands of children and families; it also has the potential to change the trajectory of some young people’s lives forever,” B. Wayne Sims said, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems.
“Children who have experienced physical or sexual abuse or neglect and who live in rural, underserved regions need support. This USDA-funded expansion is so critical because it gives each child a direct, immediate link to his or her highly-trained, caring KVC therapist. It might be that access in a moment of crisis that saves a life or makes a life-long difference. The technology will also provide foster parents with new training on how to handle family challenges. KVC Health Systems is proud of its innovative approach to foster care, and we see this partnership with DCF and the USDA as an important part of raising the bar in child welfare.”
For more information about the grant funding and technology program, contact KVC Director of Communications Jenny Kutz at 913-322-4994, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.