FosterAdopt Connect Kansas
FosterAdopt Connect Kansas (Olathe, KS) is a nonprofit organization that specializes in solving problems for kids and families involved in and affected by the child welfare system. Our mission is "to provide foster and adopted children a stable, loving and nurturing family environment by support and advocacy for abused and neglected children and the families caring for them."
As our local foster and adoptive friends will tell you, we have gone through a few iterations in our journey to become FosterAdopt Connect. Back in the late 1970’s, a group of foster and adoptive families came together to support each other and organized under the name of Foster Children of Johnson County. This group met once a month and offered trainings, support groups, and a member’s basement with donated clothing to help offset the cost for foster parents. From this group came the post-secondary scholarship fund founded by Gene Balloun, an attorney and partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Gene and his wife Sheila were long time foster/adoptive parents who have always supported the work of the Kansas group.
In 2005 the group re-organized and became Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children, Inc. (KFAC). The group opened a resource center in a duplex in Olathe, Kansas and began stocking clothing and supplies to support the children in foster care in eastern Kansas. Other services included extracurricular activity reimbursement, a foster mom’s night out, seasonal celebrations, foster parent trainings and support groups, legislative work, as well as advocacy and encouragement.
In 2013 Joni Hiatt, who was serving as the President of KFAC, approached Lori Ross, founder and CEO of Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association, about the idea of partnership for the two organizations which were principally serving all of the foster/adoptive families in the Kansas City metro area. After some discussion about the differences in need for families from the two states, the two groups found they had more in common than what separated them, and decided to pursue a merger. The merger happened in early 2014, with Joni agreeing to come work with MFCAA’s leadership team and the two groups agreeing to continue on together as Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association.
But as soon as the ink dried on the sign, the organization was ready for a name that removed the geographic barriers and clarified what the group did. In the spring of 2016, the merged organization became FosterAdopt Connect. Although our name has changed, our mission and our support for kids and families has remained the same.
From our Olathe location we currently operate a direct services Resource Center, offer support and advocacy, provide training, operate a Youth Speak Out team, and provide Behavioral Interventionist services which are designed to keep children with significant mental health and behavioral issues from needing to be placed outside of their homes.
We are currently looking for a larger location for the Kansas facilities with a goal of adding more programming to serve the incredible foster and adoptive families and children of Eastern Kansas.
FosterAdopt Connect does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs or services. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and members.