Oct. 22 ‘working lunch’ to feature DCF overview

October 18, 2014 by

Two years after what was touted as a “historic reorganization,” the new Kansas Department for Children and Families may not be fully understood by the Kansans it serves.

So a representative from the agency’s Hutchinson office will be in Concordia to give an overview of DCF and explain how it differs from its predecessor, the Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services.

Randy Lind, DCF’s West Region community relations director, will speak at the next Community Needs Forum “working lunch” at the Nazareth Motherhouse.

The lunch will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22. Lunch will be provided without charge by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and those planning to come are asked to RSVP to 243-2149 or sisterjean@csjkansas.org.

SRS officially became DCF on July 1, 2012, as a result of a state government reorganization designed by Gov. Sam Brownback. DCF says the reorganization has created an agency that is more centrally focused on the well-being of children and families in Kansas.

At the same time, the Disability and Behavioral Health Services division of SRS, as well as oversight of the five state hospitals, moved to the newly named Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

The new DCF remained responsible for children and adult protection services, adoption services, foster care support, child support services, welfare and food assistance programs, as well as services dedicated to vocational rehabilitation, among others.

“This presentation will offer some information about what we do that the general public may not be aware of,” Lind said.

He hopes other helping agencies will have representatives at the lunch. “We’re working with the same clientele, and we want to make sure agencies know how to access our services, to make referrals and to build partnerships,” he said.

Also during the Oct. 22 working lunch, various groups and individuals will provide updates on a variety of projects, including:

  • An Oct. 28 free evening workshop titled “Serving on a Nonprofit Board.” Sponsored by the Community Foundation for Cloud County and the Sisters of St. Joseph, this session at the Nazareth Motherhouse is designed for directors of civic groups, church boards, charities and other nonprofit organizations and is presented by John W. Mize, author of “The Eight Principles of Effective Governance: A Handbook for Directors of Nonprofit Organizations.”
  • Neighbor to Neighbor will hold its annual Holiday Boutique & Bake Sale Nov. 15. It will be at the downtown center, 103 E. Sixth St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds go to the artists and craftswomen at Neighbor to Neighbor.
  • The Sisters of St. Joseph will again host Christmas Tree Lane Friday, Dec. 5. This annual event benefits nonprofit organizations in the Concordia area, and all proceeds go directly to the charities that take part in the evening ticket-only event. Groups interested in taking part this year should contact Holly Brown at 243-2113, ext. 1215, or hbrown@csjkansas.org.

The Community Needs Forum grew out of informal meetings between the Sisters of St. Joseph and community leaders in the fall of 2008. The first working lunch was held in January 2009, and the continuing gatherings have identified what participants see as the greatest needs in the community and have established smaller groups to seek solutions. The working lunches continue to provide an opportunity for updates on projects and a clearinghouse for new ideas.

Everyone is invited to take part; you don’t have to have attended earlier lunches to join the process now.

 

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