Efforts To Improve Child Welfare

DCF Secretary to Announce Efforts to Improve Child Welfare System

Policy, procedure, training changes and new foster care contracts

TOPEKA – Since her appointment as Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary, Gina Meier-Hummel has spent the last four months carefully reviewing the child welfare system and exploring ways to improve foster care services, licensing, training, family preservation services, adoption support and more.

Although her top-to-bottom review continues, with the assistance of national experts, she is pleased to announce an exciting move forward, with new foster care contracts for Kansas’ privatized child welfare system.

The new contracts will be designed to, among other things, streamline services, promote safety and permanency, increase accountability and prioritize keeping families safely together.

As the Request for Proposal is prepared to solicit bids, the Secretary is seeking the public’s suggestions for improvement that should be included in the new contracts. A Request for Information (RFI) process begins today.

For one week, DCF will offer the public the ability to provide suggestions for the new contracts through an online submission form, available at www.dcf.ks.gov.

A public comment meeting is also planned, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at the DCF Administration Building, 555 S. Kansas Ave.

Further details, along with information about recent improvements to the child welfare system, will be announced during a news conference on Monday, April 23, in Topeka.

2 thoughts on “Efforts To Improve Child Welfare”

  1. Have KVC stop using the drug screen pee strip, the give a fake positive. The KVC working doesn’t inform the family they have a right to send that test out for further testing, nor do they tell them that they have a right to have their own test done by a Dr office or another Heathcare facility. I had to fight them over this as well as report it to Joint Commission.

    I tested my family member each time after KVC with in 30 mins at our local hospital and each time the test at the hospital came back negative. The test they use are not stored in a Climate controlled environment, most of these are stored in the Case workers vehicle all day long over night allow the temperature to effect the testing.
    That’s my thoughts. If you did this then there possibly wouldn’t be so many kids in foster care.

  2. It is essential that therapeutic foster care is considered and funded. In addition, that foster parents are approved based on their abilities to care for children not their marital or sexual status. I recommend more protection for workers. Turnover is at an all time high. Contract changes affect a worker’s vestment in retirement, position, and most importantly sanity. Please ensure Agencies are prepared and with appropriate support structure that includes technology and leadership. More prevention services to keep children safe. Better partnership with court systems to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. Recognize that agencies are competing not cooperating due to the nature of bids. Please keep in mind many of us are here to do the work. We have been doing it through contract changes. This last contract change was chaos. A perfect storm of cutting mental health services, politics in who was hired and how the work got done. Also consider the pay of a case manager with a Bachelors degree and compare that to a teacher. This work is important and difficult. Write the contract to Support direct line staff. Give line staff more opportunities to be heard.

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