Kansas Children’s Service League is a private, not-for-profit agency serving children
and families with offices and affiliates throughout Kansas. Founded in 1893, KCSL
provides a continuum of programs and services, advocates for children, and collaborates
with other public and private agencies to increase effectiveness and promote efficiency
and quality. KCSL’s services and advocacy efforts focus on keeping children safe,
families strong, and communities involved.
To protect and promote the well-being of children.
KCSL has its roots in two parent agencies: The Kansas Children’s Home Society, founded
in Topeka in 1893, and The Christian Service League, founded in 1906 in Wichita.
Both agencies concentrated on finding permanent homes for orphaned or abandoned
children and foster homes for children whose parents were temporarily unable to
care for them. The two agencies merged in 1926. The newly combined agency continued
its tradition of providing direct services to children and families and directing
a strong child advocacy program.
During the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s KCSL’s most visible work was infant adoption.
By the 1970s, societal changes led to decreases in the number of babies placed for
adoption. In response, KCSL developed a broader range of services to meet the changing
needs of children and families. Among these services was Head Start, which KCSL
still provides in 13 Western Kansas Counties. Recognizing the need for services
for children 0-3, KCSL began providing Early Head Start Services in Finney County
in 2001, and expanded to five additional Western Kansas counties in 2007.
In 1993, the Kansas Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse merged with KCSL,
bringing the Parent Helpline, parent support groups, and a statewide network of
child abuse prevention affiliates to the agency. By the early 1990s a new prevention
program, Healthy Families, was developed to support at-risk parents of newborns.
Currently, KCSL offers Healthy Families in nine Kansas counties, as well as a variety
of child abuse prevention and community based services across the state aimed at
strengthening families and preventing out of home care.
Since 1996 when the state of Kansas extensively privatized its child welfare services,
KCSL has partnered with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
to serve children in the state’s care. This community-based delivery model is credited
with significant positive outcomes for kids including increased safety while in
care and more timely permanency. Currently, KCSL coordinates statewide Adoption
Exchange services, branded as Adopt Kansas Kids, for contracted case management
agencies. KCSL also continues to sponsor a network of resource family foster homes
delivering care and support to some of Kansas’ most vulnerable children.
On January 1, 2009, as KCSL began its 116th year of service, the agency assumed
responsibility for the grants and services provided through the Shawnee County Family
Resource Center. Now operating as the KCSL Family Resource Center, these new programs
enable KCSL to provide a more comprehensive array of services to child and families
KCSL is the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse
America. KCSL has achieved national accreditation from the Council on Accreditation
and Healthy Families America and is a funded partner of eight United Way agencies
across the state.
On July 1, 2011, KCSL joined with the Wichita Child Guidance Center, combining
outpatient mental health services, strengthening community visibility and creating
operational efficiencies. These important services include expertise in early childhood
and infant mental health. In 2015, mental health services moved to our office at 1365 N
Custer to integrate further with the other Wichita programs.
Number of employees (approximate): 197
Number of children & families served annually: 40,000
Dona Booe, CEO/President
Margaret La Rue, Board Chair
1365 N. Custer
Wichita, KS 67203