Helping Kansas kids “soar”

By Annie McKay KAC President and CEO Today, bi-partisan leaders of the Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee introduced a new proposal to tackle unintended consequences created by welfare restrictions enacted in 2015 and 2016. The “SOAR” Act (Strategic Opportunities to Achieve Results) offers a handful of commonsense ideas, but two components really excite us at Kansas Action for Children: … Read More

Welfare Restrictions vs. Reality: Why Kansas kids need a strong safety net

By Annie McKay KAC President & CEO Kansans are folks who respect hard work. Our “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality grew from our deep pioneer roots. It is both a quintessentially Kansan value and the crux of the American Dream. Unfortunately, the notion that Kansans receiving help from the government do not work hard has become a common … Read More

Declining child care assistance leaves Kansas families stuck in poverty

By Shannon Cotsoradis Kansas Action for Children President & CEO
 For the last year, state policymakers have engaged in a vigorous debate about how to best help low-income Kansans escape the cycle of poverty. Diverse philosophical approaches have been explored. At Kansas Action for Children, we believe public supports – like cash assistance – give families the critical lift they … Read More

Longterm consequences of childhood poverty

By Shannon Cotsoradis October 29, 2015 On Thursday, October 22nd I had the privilege of presenting at the Kansas Economic Policy Conference.  The theme of this year’s conference was Economic Opportunity in Kansas: What Does the Future Hold?  When we think about what the future holds in Kansas, many of us are quick to focus on the state’s current fiscal … Read More

Diminishing HOPE for Kansas Families with Children

By Shannon Cotsoradis Kansas Action for Children President & CEO For struggling Kansans, state-administered safety net programs are an essential lifeline to help families meet basic needs. When the HOPE Act is fully implemented, fewer families with children will have access to pathways out of poverty in Kansas. An already minimal benefit will become more limited. Cash assistance for Kansas … Read More

Collaborative advocacy to secure investments for the youngest Kansans

By Erick Vaughn Executive Director of the Kansas Head Start Association Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children is a vital INVESTMENT in our country’s future, economy, families, and children. The Home Visiting Program, builds upon decades of scientific research, provides voluntary, culturally-appropriate, individually-tailored supports to families in their homes, including providing information … Read More

Closing pathways out of poverty

By Hilary Gee Director of Health Policy Work supports like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Care Assistance are proven to help lift families out of poverty. With 1 in 5 Kansas kids living in poverty, we should improve access to support programs, not limit them. Unfortunately, the Kansas Legislature is moving quickly on bills that will severely limit … Read More

No do overs for Kansas children

By Shannon Cotsoradis Kansas Action for Children President and CEO Resolving the fiscal crisis our state is facing won’t be child’s play. State legislators have their work cut out for them. And, unfortunately, for today’s Kansas children there will be no do overs if policymakers don’t make choices that put their needs first. As I listened to Gov. Brownback’s State … Read More

Working to end child hunger in Kansas

By Rebecca Gaston Kansas Appleseed Child hunger still exists in Kansas. One in five Kansas children is without access to enough nutritionally adequate foods and is considered food insecure. Approximately one-half of Kansas public school students qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school. But on weekends, holidays and other school breaks, many of these Kansas kids do not have … Read More