Kansas House passes bill aimed at more transparency within DCF

Information to be released after child's death
Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 05:40:50-04

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas House passed a bill that would require more transparency from the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

The bill passed unanimously Thursday morning.

HB 336 would require DCF to release information involving cases where a child dies and is on DCF's radar.

The bill states the agency shall release the child's name and age, date of death, and a summary of the facts surrounding the child's death.

The bill also requires DCF to disclose any previous reports of abuse or neglect received by the agency, along with the agency's findings on those reports.

Last year, a 41 Action News investigation exposed the agency had years of involvement with a Kansas City, Kansas, boy who was abused to death by his father and stepmother.

Multiple people told 41 Action News they contacted DCF with warnings that the child, Adrian Jones, was being abused.

It took DCF nearly two years to release Jones's file. 

Even the little boy's grandmother, Judy Conway, was unable to get Jones's records from DCF.

Another 41 Action News investigation, revealed other high-profile cases where children were abused to death and the agency failed to release information.

On Thursday, Conway expressed her support for the bill.

"I believe it is a step in the right direction, but I still feel more transparency is needed from DCF," Conway said. "More transparency to families who have lost a loved one to abuse. Families go through enough heartache when they lose a child, they should not have to battle to get records."

The bill still needs approval from the Kansas Senate.