Rep. Concannon appointed as chair interim
TOPEKA – Kansas Rep. Susan Concannon, Beloit, was recently appointed by House Speaker Ron Ryckman to Chair an interim Foster Care Oversight Committee.
“Representative Concannon’s passion for ensuring the best quality of care for our most vulnerable and ability to listen make her an ideal chairperson for the first Foster Care Oversight Committee," said Ryckman. "We look forward to the forum this committee will provide allowing us to work toward real solutions and find new ways to improve outcomes for children in our foster care system.”
The purpose of the committee will be to gain input from families, social workers, and stakeholders on progress and shortfalls in the state’s child welfare system. Information to be considered will include: tracking educational outcomes for children in foster care, quality of care for children in foster care, access to health and mental health services, trends in contributing factors, program outcomes from the Family First Prevention Services Act, and barriers to sharing information across stakeholders. The committee will make recommendations to the legislature on additional improvements and oversight needed to improve the state’s child welfare system.
“This appointment carries a lot of responsibility on an issue I have been working on for a couple of years," said Concannon. "We know we have serious problems in Kansas foster care. I am looking forward to working with this committee, the stakeholders, and the administration toward finding solutions.”
The committee will have 13 members: 8 House and 5 Senate, 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats, as approved last week by the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC).
Committee members are: Rep. Susan Concannon (Chair), Sen. Molly Baumgardner (Vice Chair, R-Louisburg), Senators Bud Estes (R-Dodge City), Ed Berger (R-Hutchinson), Richard Hildebrand (R-Galena), Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita), Representatives Suzi Carlson (R-Clay Center), Nick Hoheisel (R-Wichita), Susan Humphries (R-Wichita), John Resman (R-Olathe), Gail Finney (D-Wichita), Jarrod Ousley (D-Merriam), and Susan Ruiz (D-Shawnee).
The LCC budgeted six days in 2020 for the committee to meet before submitting recommendations to the 2021 legislature.