Lawmakers request audit of KS DCF

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 21:13:25-05

There are growing concerns over the agency in charge of ensuring the welfare of children in Kansas.

Lawmakers requested an audit into the Department of Children and Families.

On Tuesday, Phyllis Gilmore, the secretary of DCF and a former legislator, gave her update on the state of her department in front of a House committee.

There were several direct questions asked but not many concrete answers.

During the meeting, questions came up about several high profile cases of abuse and neglect. That included the death of 7-year-old "AJ" from KCK where investigators found human remains in the family's backyard. The boy was never reported missing.

Ponka-We Victors (D-Wichita) asked, "In this case, all four cases, calls were made to DCF hotline by concerned family and neighbors. I just want to know, how did those kids fall through the cracks?"

"I'm not saying that errors are not made but I will say that I am surprised at how few errors are made by the social workers," Gilmore responded in part.

Others posing questions included Merriam Rep. Jarrod Ousley, who asked about alleged discrimination against same-sex couples, "I have to ask, with recent findings, information coming out of a judge's ruling indicating your department conducted a 'witch hunt' against a same-sex couple."

Gilmore responded, "But we can't get the word out because we're not allowed to discuss it because of confidentiality."

This is all while there's a shortage and high turnover rate of social workers.

Gilmore said, "I think the shortage is probably the stresser. Now, what's creating the shortage is multi-issue, including those entering the profession to begin with."

The House has requested an audit of DCF and that's currently underway. That may shed more light on these issues and bring more definitive answers.


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