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Economic Policy Starter Grants

CHILDHOOD POVERTY AND THE KANSAS CHILD WELFARE CRISIS:
MAKING CONNECTIONS TO INFORM PREVENTION

Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Social Welfare
Donna Ginther, Economics / Center for Science Technology and Economic Policy

December 15, 2017
funded Spring 2016

Over the past decade, the childhood poverty rate in Kansas has increased by 20 percent while policy changes in Kansas have increasingly prevented vulnerable families from accessing critical programs designed to help them meet their children’s basic needs. Over the same period, reports of child abuse and neglect to the Kansas Department of Children and Families have risen exponentially, and the number of children in foster care has reached an all-time high. This one-day conference will discuss the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect, and brainstorm with community leaders and KU faculty and researchers about potential avenues for prevention.

Keynote speaker Kristen Slack, Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will open the conference by addressing the question, “Can We Prevent Child Maltreatment by Addressing Poverty? On the Cusp of an Answer.” Her cutting edge colloquium will be followed by an interactive series of presentations, panel discussions, and roundtable conversations. Registration is free, and lunch and parking passes are provided.

Hosted by Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Associate Professor of the School of Social Welfare, and Donna Ginther, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Science Technology and Economic Policy, University of Kansas, with support from The Commons, the KU School of Social Welfare’s Center for Children and Families (CCF), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

9:30am | Welcome & Introductions, Dean Michelle Mohr Carney & Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Associate Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas
9:45-10:45am | Keynote: “Can We Prevent Child Maltreatment by Addressing Poverty? On the Cusp of an Answer,” Kristin Slack, Professor, School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
10:45-11:00am | Break
11:00-11:45am | “Do TANF Policies Affect Child Abuse & Neglect? Findings from Kansas,” Donna Ginther, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Science Technology and Economic Policy, & Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, School of Social Welfare
11:45am-12:30pm | Panel Response
Representative Linda Gallagher
Senator Laura Kelly
Annie McKay, Kansas Action for Children
Jeffrey Colvin, MD, JD, Children’s Mercy Hospital Department of Pediatrics
Lindsey Stephenson, KVC Vice President
Jackie Counts, Director, KU Center for Public Partnerships & Research
12:30-1:30pm | Lunch (free, at Kansas Union)
1:45- 2:20pm | Breakout Discussions
2:20-3:10pm | Report Back from Breakout Discussions
3:10-3:30pm | Wrap Up & Next Steps – Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Associate Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas

Keynote Profile: Kristen Slack, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she conducts research on strategies to prevent child maltreatment, and on interventions to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children involved with the child welfare system. She oversees the School of Social Work’s Public Child Welfare Title IV-E Training Program, and the Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System, the organization charged with training the State’s public child welfare workforce. She is a research affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and teaches courses in child abuse and neglect, child welfare systems, program evaluation, and social policy.