COLBY, Kan. - (Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023) Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced today that LiveWell Northwest Kansas (LiveWell), a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Colby, is one of 10 receiving funds to become a Family Resource Center.
In total, about $1.8 million in funds have been allocated across the state of Kansas from the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). And, through a competitive grant process, LiveWell will receive $208,300 to benefit children and families in Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Norton, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Graham, Wallace, Logan, Gove and Trego Counties.
Focused on improving all aspects of health and early childhood development, LiveWell is a regional non-profit with almost 50 years of experience improving the lives and communities of northwest Kansas.
“Becoming a Family Resource Center builds on two principles that we value at LiveWell Northwest Kansas,” explained Travis Rickford, Executive Director. “First, it is important that we meet families where they are at. And second, to build on the established partnerships we have with other agencies and community organizations throughout the region.”
“This funding opportunity will allow us to improve existing programs already offered through LiveWell and bring additional services to families across the region at little to no-cost,” he said. “This could include things like counseling, legal services, early childhood care, literacy programs, and more.”
With a primary goal of increasing access to local resources, grant funding will in turn decrease the need for families to contact DCF for assistance.
“We know that if we can help build the skills necessary for families to succeed, we can prevent the need for families to have contact with DCF, especially the child welfare system,” Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard said. “These centers will focus on parent resilience, social connections, and important parent and child development skills which we believe will result in fewer youth in the foster care system.”
Over the next six months, LiveWell will establish formal partnerships with organizations across their 12-county service area from Cheyenne to Trego, explained Rickford.
“We realize that many organizations contribute to the well-being of families, and our goal is to connect these organizations with families through a seamless referral process,” he said. “We plan to provide a pathway for families that guides them to appropriate services currently provided by LiveWell and other organizations throughout the region.”
Rickford said he anticipates LiveWell will be able to accommodate families within the next three to six months. However, he encourages people and organizations to contact him immediately if they have questions or want to become more involved in the support of children and families.
“The centers receiving these grants serve as community hubs with the sole purpose of supporting families in their own neighborhoods,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Providing easier access to programs and services, including job skills training, early childhood programs, and nutritional services, sets Kansas families up for success.”
“We want families to call northwest Kansas their home for many years to come, and the only way we can do that is to work alongside them to feel better connected and supported in their communities,” added Rickford.