The KVC Institute Shares a Big Idea for Transforming Foster Care in America

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In a new 6 minute video, the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation shares an inspiring vision for transforming foster care in America. The approach, values and practices described can be used by agencies and communities to help vulnerable children and families.

KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation's Big Idea for Transforming Foster Care in America

KVC Institute's Big Idea for Transforming Foster Care in America

The values described include keeping families safely together, treating each child with urgency and matching children with caregivers they know such as relatives and other familiar people.

The KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation, a new initiative of nonprofit child welfare leader KVC Health Systems, today released its “Big Idea” campaign describing the values and practices that it uses to achieve strong outcomes for children and families. The approach described can be used by public child welfare agencies, private child and family service providers, other stakeholders and communities as a whole to transform foster care in America. The video is available at

More than 400,000 U.S. children are in foster care due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges. KVC trains and supports foster families who care for over 6,500 of these children each year in Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and West Virginia and provides consulting to agencies on foster-care-related topics.

The values described in the Big Idea campaign video include:

  • Keeping families safely together by providing in-home therapy and other support, preventing the need for out-of-home care when possible.
  • Treating each child with urgency.
  • Matching children with caregivers they know such as relatives and other familiar people.
  • Conducting and implementing research that leads to best practices.
  • Safely reducing the use of psychotropic medication for youth in foster care.
  • Caring for children in families rather than group homes or other congregate settings.
  • Working hand-in-hand with foster parents as highly-valued partners in permanency.
  • Refusing to stop caring for the youth who “age out” of foster care each year without a permanent family or home.

Over the last 45 years, KVC has achieved positive outcomes in these areas thanks to guiding values like, “Children grow best in families” and “Excellence is not an act; it’s a habit.” Some of KVC’s child welfare and behavioral healthcare achievements including keeping 94% percent of families safely together without disruption to foster care by providing high-quality, in-home family preservation services; caring for 95% of children in foster care in family homes as opposed to group settings; safely reducing the average length of stay for children in residential treatment to about 80 days, as compared to 9-12 months in other states; and recognition as a national leader and trainer in integrating trauma-informed care into child welfare and related systems.

The Big Idea campaign is the first of several videos, articles and other resources that the KVC Institute plans to release in coming months and years. More information is at

About the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation
The KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation (“KVC Institute”) is an initiative of private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization KVC Health Systems. Its goal is to expedite the development and implementation of the latest neuroscience, technology and evidence-based practices in order to transform the experience of childhood for all children. Parent organization KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, enriches and enhances the lives of nearly 60,000 children and families each year by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. KVC’s diverse continuum of services includes foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, behavioral healthcare, substance abuse treatment and psychiatric hospitals across five states. Due to KVC’s leadership in the use of research-based practices to improve outcomes, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has endorsed KVC as a national best practice organization. Learn more at

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Jenny Kutz
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