TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel is pleased to announce the new child welfare grantees. The new Case Management grant was divided into eight catchment areas, whereas in the current structure, there are only four catchment areas. The new Case Management providers are:
- Catchment Area 1—Saint Francis Ministries (previously known as Saint Francis Community Services)
- Catchment Area 2—Saint Francis Ministries
- Catchment Area 3—KVC Kansas
- Catchment Area 4—TFI
- Catchment Area 5—Cornerstones of Care
- Catchment Area 6—KVC Kansas
- Catchment Area 7—Saint Francis Ministries
- Catchment Area 8—TFI
The Family Preservation grant catchment areas will continue to align with the four DCF Regions—West, Wichita, Kansas City and East. The new Family Preservation providers are:
- West Region—Eckerd Connects
- Wichita Region—Eckerd Connects
- East Region—Eckerd Connects
- Kansas City Region—Cornerstones of Care
Currently, there are two providers providing both Case Management and Family Preservation services to the entire state. Moving forward, there will be four Case Management providers and two Family Preservation providers.
DCF posted the child welfare RFP’s May 31, which included substantial changes from the current child welfare contracts. DCF developed the improved child welfare grants to address known issues within the Kansas foster care system after receiving input from the public, legislators and stakeholders.
“The new child welfare grants include substantial changes—we are putting Kansas children and families first and emphasizing contractor accountability and oversight,” DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said. “We carefully designed the new grants to positively change the landscape of child welfare in Kansas, and just as purposefully, we chose providers we believed would best serve the needs of children and families.”
DCF awarded the new child welfare grants following an extensive and robust review process. Two internal DCF teams, consisting of DCF staff from across the state, analyzed and blind-scored each bid submission offsite for three days at the end of August. The agency then entered negotiations with bidders in September, and continued internal discussions into October.
As part of the bid process, each applicant was required to submit a six-month transition plan in order to establish a seamless changeover and continuity of services for Kansas children and families. In addition, DCF has formed internal oversight teams to help support the current and future providers as they transition. The agency is also seeking feedback, both internally and externally, from those who have experienced a contract change before to ensure a smooth transition. To share suggestions, concerns or thoughts, visit http://www.dcf.ks.gov/Agency/pubcomments/Pages/Child-Welfare-Grant-Transition.aspx.
“I am confident that services to Kansas children and families will improve with the new child welfare grants because we have removed conflicts of interest and increased competition, bringing more providers to the table to provide quality, timely services,” Governor Jeff Colyer said. “These new grants will serve as the foundation for enacting true reform in Kansas child welfare.”
Transitions will start January 2019 and the new providers will begin serving Kansas children and families July 1, 2019.