Foster care reporters will discuss findings at Advocacy in Action Conference

Two Kansas City Star reporters, who were part of a team that uncovered numerous problems in the foster care system around the country, will share their findings and discuss foster care in Kansas at the Advocacy in Action Conference in Topeka on Jan. 15-16. 

The conference, hosted by KASB and USAKansas, will help kickoff the 2020 legislative session and give education advocates from across Kansas the opportunity to meet state leaders and learn about the latest developments on crucial issues affecting public education. For more information and to register, go here. 

Veteran journalists Judy Thomas and Laura Bauer helped report and write the recent six-part series “Throwaway Kids,” that is sparking calls for changes in the foster care system in many states, including Kansas. 

The series found that many foster kids experience trauma and inferior education, which often leads to unsuccessful adult lives. Kansas school officials have often cited the problem of not having enough time to help foster children because they are often moved within the system from district to district. In Kansas, only 39 percent of young people in foster care graduate high school, while the rate for all students is 87 percent, the Star reported. 

Thomas and Bauer will speak during lunch on Thur. Jan. 16. 

In addition to the foster care discussion, the conference includes Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who will talk about efforts to address the rise in youth suicide, and Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who will discuss ways schools can help build civic engagement. 

The annual event also includes time for education leaders to go to the Statehouse to speak with legislators, observe committee meetings and then later attend a viewing party to watch Gov. Laura Kelly deliver her State of the State address and then a reception with legislators. 

The second day of the conference offers numerous breakout sessions led by top experts covering early childhood services, Medicaid expansion, bullying, the state budget, vaping, the census and mental health issues. 

Share this post