Eckerd Expands Child Welfare Services into Kansas

Eckerd is expanding its service delivery into our 11th state – Kansas. Based out of Wichita, Eckerd is now providing foster home services. Under the leadership of Melanie Owens, Chief of Program Services – Western Division, Eckerd has successfully become licensed and secured contracts to provide services.

Designed as a temporary placement for children who cannot safely remain with their biological families, foster care provides a necessary and, at times, lifesaving intervention to children who have suffered substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect. Eckerd currently has similar programs in other parts of the Midwest region, including Oklahoma and Texas.

Ellen Standlee, Foster Care Program Manager for Eckerd is excited about expanding their foster home program to meet the growing needs of the community.  Active support of foster parents is the key to a successful program. Eckerd is recruiting and training homes to support the Kansas child welfare system.  The foster homes provide all levels of care for children including those with more intensive needs.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can go the Eckerd website at or call 316 440-5536 to obtain additional information.

“Eckerd appreciates the opportunity to bring our services to Kansas and partner with child welfare providers.  Eckerd has been successful in demonstrating positive program outcomes for children and families while maintaining an overall program quality that is true to our core guiding philosophy that kids always come first,” said Melanie Owens Chief of Programs, Western Division.

Recently, Eckerd Kansas Foster Care Program has begun partnering with The Positive Pathways Program (P3) to benefit foster children. This program is built on the understanding that youth have the power to change their direction in life by setting education, employment, and self-goals. With the right support team encouraging each youth along the way, the path to reach their goals will become possible with their hard work and dedication. Many adolescents placed in foster care have been or are currently involved with the Juvenile Justice System. Because this program is focused towards helping youth involved in this system, the program is a fit for the children placed in our foster homes. The program provides help to our youth with education, job placement, and legal assistance. Each youth participating in the program is assigned a mentor who is committed to their success. Thus far, Eckerd has referred five youth to the program and are excited to be able to work with this community resource.

“The Positive Pathways Program (P3) is a community wide program for the success of our youth, providing educational support, workforce development and mentoring to youth who have had a touch with the juvenile justice system. P3 receives youth referrals for services from Eckerd and we are happy to provide P3 services to those youth as part of their pathway to success,” said COO Brandon Russell.