Audit of Kansas DCF shows several criticisms

Kansas Department for Children and Families (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Two years ago Kansas lawmakers asked for an audit of the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF). Now, that audit is out, and it offers several criticisms.


Some of those lawmakers are calling for the head of DCF, Phyllis Gilmore, to resign.

“After seeing the results of this audit, how can Kansas Governor Sam Brownback not fire Secretary Gilmore and just clean house at DCF?” asks Representative Jim Ward of Wichita.

In a detailed 59-page report, the audit offers several points where DCF could do better. It also shows areas where some say DCF is failing to protect Kansas kids.

The report shows DCF has implemented only one of nine recommendations that were offered to the agency in 2013 to better protect kids.

The audit also shows “DCF does not ensure that background checks of individuals in foster homes happen as often or as thoroughly as they should.”

Also, there was a survey of case-management staff and guardians ad litem and it also indicates, “that monthly in-person visits do not always happen.”

More findings include, “Case-management staff and guardians ad litem responding to our survey said that caseloads keep case-management staff from completing monthly visits with children in foster care.”

Other findings include, “A significant portion of case-management staff and guardians ad litem indicated turnover has negatively affected case-management staff’s ability to do their jobs. And… ‘About half of case-management staff responses show morale among case workers is low.’  And, ‘Some case-management staff cited training as a problem.'”

The report also says DCF guidelines are set up so too many foster kids do not end up in one home. However, the report findings say some exceptions by DCF are allowed, resulting in, “inadequate sleeping space for some children in foster care.”

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Legislative Audit

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