Wichita, Kansas 2021-12-03 11:00:24 –
Topeka, Kansas (KSNT) – A Lawrence woman has been selected as a child advocate in Kansas and is leading a new department to oversee child welfare services.
Lawrence’s Kelly Ronard was appointed as head of the department by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Thursday.
“When we started looking for child advocates, we knew we needed a strong leader, someone who could tackle the systematic challenges facing our state’s child welfare system. Was, “Kelly said.
The governor appoints someone to that position, Neither the governor nor the legislature can dismiss supporters, preventing their position from becoming political.
The Children’s Advocacy Department helps Kansas follow a more “complex” path that parents and seniors must take. According to Kelly, her office digs deeper into Kansas’s foster care system, and what they find is “shameful.” The governor said children would get stuck in the system due to lack of resources.
Lonard has been working at Topeka’s Kansas Legal Services for nearly 14 years and is both a staff and administrative attorney. In managing a lawyer, she often oversaw staff in providing legal assistance to the general public in areas of family law and where long-term care is needed.
“Child Advocate will strengthen existing oversight in the child welfare system and provide more accountability to Kansan, who receives child welfare-related services,” said DCF Executive Secretary Laura Howard.
Ronald holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in social work from Washburn University, and a graduate of Washburn University’s Faculty of Law.
“I’m working on the long way and hard work needed to keep children in the best interests at the forefront,” said Ronald.
Kansas has become the 14th state to create an independent advocate to oversee child welfare services.
The Children’s Advocacy Division was founded by Governor Kelly. Executive Order # 21-28. When structured, it acts as a centralized entity and does the following:
- Protect Kansas children and families from harm by providing independent oversight and accountability systems to public and private institutions involved in child welfare.
- Receive a collection of complaints made on behalf of your child within the child welfare system.
- Review agent practices in the child welfare system.
- Each year, we submit an independent, nonpartisan report to the governor, legislature, and judiciary. These reports detail the complaints received by the office and provide recommendations for improving services and systems.
- Improve coordination between state agencies, contractors and partners in the field of child welfare to ensure quality service for all Kansas children and families.
- It serves as a resource for families seeking to educate their children and families about their rights and qualifications under state and federal law and to navigate the child welfare system.
Lawrence woman named Kansas Child Advocate, new department puts child first Source link Lawrence woman named Kansas Child Advocate, new department puts child first