Governor Jeff Colyer signs proclamation declaring March Social Work Month
TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) social workers are often one of the first lines of defense against abuse and neglect for children and vulnerable adults. They work in collaboration with law enforcement, the courts, contractors, families and others to ensure the safety and well-being of those who cannot protect themselves. Due to the high demands of the job, Kansas, like other states across the nations, is experiencing a shortage of social workers.
To call attention to this need, today, Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel and DCF staff joined Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., as he designated March as Social Work Month at the State Capitol Building, Topeka.
“Social workers perform an essential duty for Kansas families, and I am happy to recognize their dedication in a field that is so challenging,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “Recruiting and retaining social workers is difficult, so I fully support the efforts of DCF to incentivize social workers to consider State service.”
DCF, along with its contracted providers, employ more than 1,000 social workers statewide. DCF has taken the following steps to attract social workers.
“We should recognize and support our social workers, because their work is tough and essential,” said Secretary Meier-Hummel, a social worker. “I have the upmost respect for those who come to work each day with the goal of changing and saving lives.”
DCF Social Worker Ann Goodall, Topeka, discusses the challenges and rewards of her job.
“People don’t really understand the day in, day out duties because our work is so confidential. We protect families from harm, but we also protect their privacy,” Goodall said. “I’ve been a social worker in child welfare for 20 years, it is my passion. Getting to be one-one-one with children, talking with them about their lives, it makes a difference, and it is what I love doing.”
To become a social worker, individuals must graduate from an accredited university with at least a bachelor’s degree in social welfare. They must also pass a licensure exam and maintain the license with 40 hours of continuing education, every two years.
DCF is always looking for people who have a heart for serving vulnerable adults and children in Kansas. To learn more about becoming a social worker, and to view available positions, visit www.jobs.ks.gov.
Workers were doing demolition on the building located at 9 S. National Avenue Wednesday, known as the old Tribune building.
Michael Barnard and members of the Yoder family were”gutting” down to the floor and wall, Barnard said.
The crew was hired by Walker Construction and Demolition, Barnard said.
Jennifer LaRoche is the owner of the building, since early 2017.
In a later interview, LaRoche said the demolition is part of the “cleaning up” of the historic building at Wall Street and National Avenue, “so we can see what we got”.
“We still have lots of ideas,” for the building, she said.
DeAnn Welch started the Adopt-A-Greyhound program eight years ago at Fort Scott Coummunity College because of a need she perceived.
In her job as FSCC Student Success Center Director and Tutoring and Testing Administrator see saw students coming to college from other distant states.
“They come here not knowing anyone,” Welch said. ” Some even come here on a one way bus ticket in hopes of playing football and getting away from a life that they could have ended up dead. It is a sad situation.”
She had an idea.
“I thought, why not place these kids with local families who can give them that home away from home,” she said.
“The families can have this student over for dinner, go to their games if they are athletes, and simply be a support system.”
The program has had many success stories, she said.
“Some families still keep in touch with their student and even travel to see their games when they advance to the next level. It truly has developed many lifelong friendships,” Welch said.
For more information, contact Welch at 620-223-2700, ext. 4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org