KS DCF Secretary set to retire Dec. 1 amid scrutiny of department's oversight of foster children

TOPEKA, Kan. — Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of the Kansas Department of Children and Families, plans to retire from the agency next month.

A release from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s office says that Gilmore plans to retire on Dec. 1. A plan for her successor wasn't immediately known, but the appointment could be made by current Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is slated to become governor if Brownback is confirmed to a post in the Trump administration.

In Friday’s release, Brownback praised Gilmore’s leadership of the agency.

“In the last six years, Kansas has reduced childhood poverty, helped more adults find self-reliance through employment, increased child support collections and empowered people with disabilities to find meaningful work,” Governor Brownback said. 

“Those accomplishments can be directly attributed to the countless hours Phyllis devoted with single-minded focus on helping build strong families. I am thankful for her devotion and wish her the very best in the next chapter of her life.”

Gilmore plans to spend more time with four grandchildren.

Her tenure at the agency has come under some scrutiny at times as she navigated concerns about the agency’s oversight of foster children. 

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