Mission & History
Improving the well-being of Kansas children and youth
The 1999 Legislative session created the Children’s Cabinet to oversee the expenditures from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Ninety-five percent of the state’s portion of the Master Settlement Agreement was dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children and youth in the state.
The Kansas Children’s Cabinet is directed by statute to undertake these four overarching responsibilities:
- Advising the governor and the legislature regarding the use of money credited to the Children’s Initiatives Fund
- Evaluating programs which utilize Children’s Initiatives Fund money
- Assisting the Governor in developing and implementing a coordinated, comprehensive delivery system to serve children and families in Kansas
- Supporting the prevention of child abuse and neglect through the Children’s Trust Fund
Kansas was the first state to establish a special fund, The Kansas Family and Children Trust Fund, dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Children’s Trust Fund dollars provide funding for community-based prevention programs that implement a wide range of strategies designed to assist families and individuals in preventing child abuse and neglect.
THE INVESTMENT BLUEPRINT
Kansas legislative leaders were interested in taking a significant step forward to confront issues facing children and families. They approved a Special Committee on Children’s Initiatives to meet during the months between legislative sessions to explore these needs in earnest. This committee developed a plan that became known as the Blueprint for Investing in the Future of Kansas Children and Families.
CORPORATION FOR CHANGE
The Legislature created the Corporation for Change to implement the Blueprint and promote system reform in children and family services. The Corporation for Change was given the responsibility for administering the Children’s Trust Fund.
GOVERNOR’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Corporation for Change was replaced by a new committee, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Children and Families. During this time, administration of the Children’s Trust Fund became the responsibility of the Kansas Department for Children and Families.
KANSAS CHILDREN’S CABINET
The Kansas Children’s Cabinet was established by statute to advise the Governor and the Legislature regarding the uses of the moneys from the Master Tobacco Settlement. The Governor’s Advisory Committee on Children and Families was abolished through this statute, and the Children’s Trust Fund became the responsibility of the newly formed Children’s Cabinet.
FROM DCF TO KSDE
The fiscal agent for the Children’s Cabinet transitioned from the Department for Children and Families to the Kansas State Department of Education.
STATE LEADERSHIP TEAM & PDG
The Kansas Children’s Cabinet became a member of the newly-formed State Directors Team. This team was established to implement new federal funding through the Preschool Development Grant B-5 grant (PDG) from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Every Student Succeeds Act. The award was made in December 2018 to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). The Children’s Cabinet joined KSDE and two other state agencies (Kansas Department for Children and Families and Kansas Department of Health and Environment) to direct state activities around completing a statewide needs assessment and strategic plan for early childhood.
NEW GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
By Executive Order 20-02 the Children’s Cabinet became the designated Early Childhood Advisory Council and lead applicant on renewal funding for PDG. This executive order also established a Kansas Early Childhood Recommendations Panel to provide vision and guidance on early childhood programs and services. Through their technical expertise and collaborative efforts, the Panel is a critical component of the governance structure supporting early childhood initiatives in Kansas.
Cabinet activities are guided by the Blueprint for Early Childhood. The Cabinet oversees grants for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) and the Early Childhood Block Grants.
The Children’s Trust Fund receives a percent of marriage license fees and the federally funded Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grant program through Title II of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Children’s Trust Fund license plates and limited edition prints generate further income for prevention activities. The Children’s Trust Fund and local communities partner to raise funds that support child abuse and neglect prevention programs across the state.