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Kids View Online - December 2018

KCSL hosts two statewide conferences
Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

As the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, KCSL hosted the 42nd Annual Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Nov. 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita. The conference is an educational, networking and recognition event acknowledged as the most comprehensive conference in Kansas regarding child abuse and neglect issues. The conference included six all-day sessions, 36 workshops, a documentary screening and two keynote speakers: Dr. Robert Sege, Tufts Medical Center and Dr. Linda Chamberlain, Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project. During the Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, KCSL presented the Rev. O. S. Morrow Founder’s Award for Excellence to Vicky Roper, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas Director at KCSL. The Exemplary Service to Children and Families Organization Award was presented to Junior League of Wichita and the Individual Award was given to Dawn Rouse.

We appreciate the following organizations for sponsoring the conference: Kansas Department for Children and Families; Saint Francis Ministries; The Office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt; The REACH Foundation; Kansas Children’s Cabinet & Trust Fund; KVC Kansas; The Office of Judicial Administration, Supreme Court Task Force on Permanency Planning; Kansas Action for Children; Children’s Alliance of Kansas; Delta Dental of Kansas; DCCCA; Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence; Sunflower Health Plan; United Healthcare Community Plan; and Wichita Children’s Home.

KCSL hosts two statewide conferences
Parent Leadership Conference

KCSL, in collaboration with eight other sponsoring agencies, held the Parent Leadership Conference at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka Nov. 2-3. A free two-day event designed to help and strengthen the voice of Kansas parents, the conference included several workshops, a Parent Advocacy Panel, Parent Café and testimony. This year’s keynote presenters were Rev. Darrell Armstrong, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, N.J. and motivational speaker, and Lee Stickle, director of the TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Support project in Kansas. Children of attendees were entertained with presentations by Kansas Highway Patrol, Topeka Public Library, Topeka Zoo, Helping Hands Humane Society and local first responders.

Funding for the conference was provided by Kansas Department for Children & Families; Kansas Children’s Cabinet Trust Fund; Families Together; Kansas State Department of Education; The W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Kansas Partnering for Policy: High Quality Early Childhood Education; Kansas Parent Leadership Advisory Council; Kansas Head Start Association; and KCSL.

Success Corner

Araceli, Julio & Yaiden

Featured in Kids View Online April 2018

Although many 15-year-old girls feel like adults, most are enjoying their early teens adjusting to high school, spending time with friends and possibly dating. Araceli, however, had much more on her mind at this age. She was preparing to raise a child with her boyfriend, Julio.

“We felt very scared when we found out I was pregnant,” Araceli said. “We were shocked but once we saw the ultrasound, we got really excited.”

In the beginning, Araceli and Julio had very little support. They immediately started searching for local resources in Emporia to help them on their new journey of parenthood. When the couple learned about KCSL’s Healthy Families, they enrolled.

“Since I got pregnant at a young age, I had no clue what was coming,” Araceli said. “I didn’t know the basics of how to care for my own child.”

Although she admits Healthy Families has helped her family, Araceli still had her struggles. After giving birth to her son, Yaiden, she felt unmotivated and didn’t attend school for a few months. Lisa Harder, KCSL family engagement coordinator for Healthy Families and Araceli’s home visitor at the time, along with Julio and Araceli’s family encouraged her to continue high school. Eventually, Araceli decided to persist in her schooling and even graduated with her class in 2017.

“KCSL has taught me how to succeed and not give up,” Araceli said. “They give you a lot of opportunities and support. If you need help, they’re there for you.”

Now, Araceli and Julio live in their own home and feel confident in their abilities. Yaiden, now 2 years old, is ahead in his development, Julio works full-time as a carpenter and Araceli stays at home to take care of their son.

“They are receptive to Healthy Families information and education and have been very successful with the program,” Harder said. “They are self-sufficient and excellent advocates for themselves and Yaiden.”

Araceli, Julio and Yaiden were featured on local television station WIBW-TV in Topeka last month. The story highlighted two KCSL families who are outstanding examples of Healthy Families participants.

“It was exciting, sharing our story and being recognized as a successful family,” Araceli said.

As for the future, Araceli has applied to attend Emporia State University in the fall to pursue a nursing degree, and Julio has dreams of starting his own business one day. The couple also has plans to marry and is optimistic about Yaiden starting school soon. All three are set to graduate from the Healthy Families program later this year.

“I just want a happy life,” Araceli said.

Click HERE to learn more about Healthy Families.

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