December 3, 2019
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KAC Monthly Newsletter

KAC President John Wilson
Moving fast to make enduring change for Kansas kids

Happy holiday season, everyone!

Here at Kansas Action for Children, the pace has quickened as we head toward January's kickoff of the legislative session. We've been meeting with stakeholders across the state, refining our priorities and messaging for the new year, and attending conferences across the country.

I'm so excited about our new projects and initiatives -- but unfortunately I can't tell you about all of them yet! Suffice it to say, we have some great surprises in store for the rest of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.

Sometimes it seems like we're running at full speed just to stay in the same place. But we understand that it takes this kind of dedication to make the long-lasting, reliable change that Kansas kids need. As I often say, children don't raise themselves. They need supported caregivers and nurturing communities. We all have parts to play to make sure that happens.

In this month's newsletter, we're highlighting recent blog entries from our Director of Policy and Research Emily Fetsch. The subjects are sobering, and they emphasize how much we have to do next year.

With gratitude,
John Wilson

P.S.: If you want to see KAC staff member's new portraits, drop by our website's staff profiles page! Thanks to Thad Allton for taking these snappy new images.

Georgetown University report finds progress has stalled for Kansas kids' health

The number of uninsured children  nationwide increased by about 400,000 in the past two years, reversing nearly a decade of gains, according to a  new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. An estimated 4 million children were uninsured nationwide in 2018, the highest level since the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014.

In Kansas, the analysis shows that progress on children's health coverage has halted and potentially reversed course in the past two years. The state's rate of uninsured children was dropping as recently as 2016. But the number increased by 4,000 children between 2016 and 2018, although the increase was not statistically significant.

In the same two-year period, about 14,800 fewer Kansas children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Enrollment dropped another 12,600 between December 2018 and June 2019.

Cuts to Kansas shelters highlight unique needs of children experiencing homelessness

Funding challenges faced by the Topeka Rescue Mission and Lawrence Community Shelter have led to cuts in their services. These cuts include  the shelter capacity in Lawrence being halved, as well as the Topeka Rescue Mission temporarily  closing its child care program for homeless youth. These closures affect not just adults, but children and families as well.

In 2018,  773 people in families and 133 unaccompanied youth experienced homelessness in Kansas on a given night. While the number of people in families experiencing homelessness has descreased, the number of individual youths has increased.

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