In February 2016 there were 6,636 children in out of home placement in Kansas. Out of home placement includes children in state custody that may reside in foster homes, with kinship/relatives, pre-adoptive placements, group residential and independent living settings, etc.
In the state of Kansas, African American children represent 6.3% of the total population. In the foster care system of Kansas African American children represent 16.2% of out of home placements, and 23% of youth waiting to be adopted. In 2014, of the over 200 completed adoptions in Shawnee County, only 2 involved African American families that adopted. As of May 2016 there were no completed adoptions involving African American children.
Recognizing these statistics as a crisis situation, Adopt Kansas Kids sent out a call to action. In response to that call, individuals from social service agencies, private physicians, mental health professionals, public housing, state employees, retired social service professionals, students and clergy met to form the Kansas African American Foster Care and Adoption Coalition (KAAFCAC).
The theme of the KAAFCAC is Ubuntu (oo-boon-too); a South African word used to describe the connectedness of humanity; community interdependency and solidarity. In other words, I am because, because we are.
The mission of the KAAFCAC is to help African American children remain connected to family and their cultural identity.
More often than not, African American children removed from their home are placed in foster homes outside of their city of origin, limiting connection to supportive family members or other non-traditional/non-family supports.
KAAFCAC’s primary goal is recruitment, education and development of healthy relationships and family systems to support children in foster care and adoption situations.