About Kansas Case
TFI serves as the Foster Care, Reintegration, and Adoption Case Management grantee for 26 counties in Southeast and Southcentral Kansas. When children are removed from their homes by the courts in Kansas, they are placed into DCF custody and referred to TFI in these counties for case management services. TFI works with children and their parents to address the risk and safety issues that led to removal, with the goal of returning the children home safely and quickly, when possible. For children unable to return home, TFI works towards a timely adoption or other permanency option.
We believe every child should have a childhood where they are nurtured body, mind and soul; are safe, protected and loved; and have hopes, dreams and opportunities. Unfortunately, there are times when a child’s parents coping skills are overwhelmed, and they are not able to meet their child’s needs. In these situations, it becomes necessary for the courts to temporarily remove the child from their home. Usually, it is in the child’s best interest to be reunified back with their parents as quickly as possible when the parent’s situation stabilizes. TFI strives to ensure children safely return home within 12 months of removal.
While children are in out-of-home care, TFI looks for relatives or family members who the child knows and loves who would be willing and able to care for the children while the parents are working towards completing the tasks to get the children back home.
TFI has a long history of successful outcomes in placing children with their relatives or family friends (aka non-related kinship care) while their parents are unable to care for them. The loving families provide a home that is more familiar to the child, and decreases the trauma the child and parents both experience from the child being removed from their home. Finding caregiving relatives, family friends, teachers or neighbors is one of the first priorities for TFI when a child is referred for case management services. If you know of a child that you want to provide a home for, or support to the family, please call us at 833-7FOSTER.
Other Permanency Options
Permanent Custodianship: for those youth for whom the court has determined that reintegration and adoption are not viable permanency options. Permanent custodianship provides the child/youth with the next preferred goal. Permanent custodianship enables the caretaker to exercise all the rights and responsibilities of a parent without the on-going oversight of DCF. Custodianship may be an option for youth with or without the termination of parental rights and can be established with either a relative or non-relative.
Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA): for youth 16 and older when other permanency goals are not viable, TFI will work with the youth to become self-sufficient in order to age out of the foster care system successfully into living independently. This can include helping the youth learn life skills such as , obtaining employment and finding housing.
Permanency for Older Youth
What is SOUL? Support Opportunity Unity Legal Relationships (SOUL) is a permanency option for older youth who are 16 and older in foster care. SOUL was designed by young people as a proposed new legal pathway to form families who will support them during their journey to adulthood. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and a growing network of statewide partners are collaborating to build the understanding, resources, services and administrative and legal infrastructure needed to make SOUL Family a legal permanency option.
During this journey, your support is needed. SOUL Family was conceived by young leaders with foster care experience, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and its Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative®. Kansas will be the first state to pilot the SOUL Family option. To learn more about SOUL, visit https://www.childally.org/soul-family.
Adoption through Foster Care
When children cannot safely return to their parents, adoptive families provide a safe, loving and nurturing “forever” home. Hundreds of children in Kansas are currently waiting for a forever home, and you can meet some of these children on our Meet the Kids page and at the AdoptKSKids website. Most children who are adopted through TFI and in the state of Kansas are adopted by their foster parent or a relative who has been providing care.
The greatest need for permanent, loving homes is for older children and sibling groups. TFI believes there is a home for every child, and TFI works to locating and selecting the best possible family for a child, rather than finding a child for a specific family.
The children available for adoption through TFI are usually:
- Age 10 and older
- Part of a sibling set of three or more who needs to be adopted together
- Have unique needs
While young children and babies do enter state custody, our first goal is to try and safely reunite the child with his or her birth parents. If reunification is not possible, relatives and familiar caregivers are the next best choice to care for them.
Every child deserves a family to provide them with love, protection, and support. Through no fault of their own, children of all ages, including teens and sibling groups, are waiting for permanent homes and a forever family. Adopting a child is a life-changing experience and the first step is having an open heart and home.
Adoption is a process and a successful adoption is a collaborative effort between all the significant individuals involved in the child’s life, which includes social services, the legal community and in some cases, the child’s natural family.
Steps to take to become an adoptive family:
- Complete a Foster Care Application.
- Take the state required PS-MAPP Training (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting).
- Pass criminal background checks.
- Participate in specialized assessment/home study of the family in order to match the family with a child they are best suited to parent.
- At this point, a family may choose to become a licensed Foster Care home to ‘foster to adopt’, although not a requirement.
When a family is selected to become a child’s adoptive parents, TFI provides the family with a full array of services which include:
- Pertinent and extensive information about the child’s history
- Preparation to meet the child
- On-going visitation until the child is placed in the home
- Planning the transition of the child into the home
- Support through the legalization of the adoption
- Continued support for the family and child in the year following the legal finalization of the adoption
Please consider adopting children with no place to call home. Josh Shipp says that “Every child is one caring adult away from a being a success story.” Won’t you consider being that caring adult?
To contact us for more information, please call 800-279-9914 or feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Adults who want to open their hearts and homes to children by making a lifetime commitment. There are no barriers as to family composition to become an adoptive family. An adoptive family can be a two parent or one parent home in which the parent(s) are 21 or older.
Every person living in the home 10 and older must pass criminal background checks, as well as personal reference checks. The family must successfully complete the PS-MAPP Training and a detailed family assessment. The house must provide an adequate and safe space for the children.
Children who need adoptive homes come in all ages, races and with varying degrees of special needs. The greatest need for adoptive families are those who want to care for children over ten years old and for sibling groups.
Sometimes through community involvement, such as school, church, scouting, sports, families develop a relationship with a child who is available for adoption. In this situation, the family needs to contact TFI to express their interest in the particular child. Families who know the child go through the same approval process as families who do not know the child.
Keeping children connected to their family is a priority with TFI, Inc. Family members are highly encouraged to express their interest in adopting by contacting the child’s case manager or calling 1-833-7FOSTER to speak to a representative.