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TOPEKA—More than 700 people committed to enhancing the child welfare system participated in the inaugural Kansas Child Welfare Summit this week in Topeka.
The summit, which took place April 15 and 16, was a call to action to state and local leaders and child welfare justice partners to come together for the sole purpose of creating lasting improvement in child welfare.
Justice Melissa Standridge, who sits on the Kansas Supreme Court, chaired the three-branch committee that organized the summit.
“I was overwhelmed by the tremendous response to our call to action, and the summit itself exceeded my expectations,” Standridge said. “It provided all of us an opportunity to collaborate, learn, and drive positive change in our child welfare system.”
The summit featured speakers with expert knowledge who focused on practical steps child welfare partners can take to improve the current permanency process and empower Kansas families, youth, and young adults involved in state custody. It also included individuals with lived expertise with the child welfare system.
About a third of the registrants were on teams put together by chief judges from the state’s 31 judicial districts. Team members represented the different roles in the child welfare process, including attorneys, state agencies, professionals who work under contract to state agencies, elected officials, law enforcement, and volunteers.
During the summit, these judicial district teams worked on local action plans that list concrete steps team members can take to achieve lasting improvement in child welfare.
Child Welfare Summit photographs
WIBW TV news story

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