Statewide child abuse conference begins in Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Social workers, healthcare professionals, and foster care experts are coming together to help kids in Kansas.

The 43rd annual Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect is being held this week. The goal is to figure out how to provide the best future for all children in the sunflower state.

About 600 people from across the state are expected to attend the three-day meeting in Topeka.

Tuesday kicked off the first day of the conference put on by the Kansas Children’s Service League.

Topics at all-day sessions ranged from drug usage and its impact on children to discuss the best ways to help kids in the foster system.

“Hoping to really be able to impart some information around what’s the damage, what are those drugs doing, and how are they impacting our youth,” said Jean Mash, a social worker who presented at the conference on Tuesday.

Six different sessions were held on Thursday. Thirty-eight workshops will be held over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

“Some of these are the latest greatest information that’s out there that we need to be keeping up with in the field such as opioids, some of this is about the latest greatest programs that are about to be implemented such as Family First,” said Vicky Roper, the Prevent Child Abuse Kansas director for the Kansas Children’s Service League.

The conference will continue Wednesday with Governor Laura Kelly speaking. Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard will speak on Thursday.

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