On April 1, The Kansas Children’s Cabinet board adopted Kansas State Department of Education’s report received by the Cabinet on April 1, to be sent to the Governor and to Division of the Budget.
The Cabinet further recommended removing Proviso language for Mean Testing. However, if the proviso is not removed, the Parents as Teachers will target families who are low income.
This Friday, April 24, The Kansas Children’s Cabinet will be making further recommendations to fund Parents as Teachers with Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF). Options being explored by the Cabinet include:
• Serving families who fall at or below 200% of the federal poverty level guidelines
• Serving families who fall at or below 300% of the federal poverty level guidelines
• Serving families who have a variety of risk factors
• Serving all families while encouraging 2 parent households
We are hopeful to have The Kansas Children’s Cabinet final recommendations sometime next week. However, we will not have final information on PAT funding for 2016-17 until the legislature convenes.
We will receive the PAT Continuation Grant for 2016-17 Application mid May. Our turnaround time for submission will be 2 short weeks.
Although, the redesign of PAT is still uncertain, we feel it is important to continue to move forward with planning for next year program year. Districts also need to make budget decisions. PAT Staff need to make decisions on their work hours. And, most importantly, Keystone PAT Families need to feel confident that services will continue.
Keystone PAT is working on operational plans now that would work under these options. Doing the ground work now will provide data as to how deep of an impact the changes may have.
The Children’s Cabinet could recommend PAT remain universal while funded with TANF by including the goal of establishing or maintaining a 2-parent households. This goals is currently part of the PAT program. We discuss the importance of having a father figure role in the life of a child, we provide family counseling resources and referrals as part of family well being, we plan visits and group connection to include fathers, and much more.
Why is universal access important:
• Universal access for parents helps local program addresses other at risk factors than low income. Our Kansas families have many issues: child abuse, teen parents, parent or child with special needs, etc.
• Universal access allows all families to join together at group connections reflecting the demographics of our communities.
• Universal access allows for screening of all children. PAT is a primary referral source for Infant Toddler Special Services.
• Each district has its own unique demographics the flexibility to serve all families ensures that the needs of each community is being met.
Keystone PAT is committed to serving families with young children in Northeast Kansas. We will continue to do so with The Kansas Children’s Cabinet recommendations and The Kansas State Legislature decisions regarding funding.