TOPEKA, Kansas (KSN) – Lawmakers across Kansas have been pushing for an independent audit of the Department for Children and Families. The agency is tasked with protecting our most vulnerable children.
The audit comes after KSN investigations into response-time policies and discrimination of allegations of who can be foster parents made headlines.
But, it was a day of mixed reactions at the statehouse in Topeka.
A legislative committed approved an audit into DCF, but not in its entirety.
The audit, one of the largest of its kind, will move forward to look into operations at DCF and the foster care system to determine whether those policies ensure the safety of Kansas kids.
But, claims of discrimination by DCF against same-sex couples in the state as adoptive or foster parents will not be included in the audit, at least for now.
Republican senator Michael O’Donnell says the big picture is that this is a win for Kansas children and families.
“I think we have the most thorough investigation that post-audit has ever put out,” said O’Donnell. “It’s gonna be a year long. We’ve never done that before. I know we’re getting hung up on one little part of it, but If you look at the whole audit and the seven questions that were approved today, this is monumental.”
But, House Minority Leader Tom Borroughs, a Democrat from Kansas City, doesn’t see it that way.
“Love knows no color, no bounds, no sexual orientation, no ethnicity or cultural differences,” Borroughs said. “Love is love and it seems that we’re putting politics ahead of policy.”
Lawmakers will meet again in April to discuss the audit and could decide then to add claims of discrimination to the audit.
Click or touch here to view the document submitted to the Legislative Post-Audit Committee. All of the items in the document will be included in the audit with the exception of item number five.