TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore is pleased to announce final leasing arrangements have been made to relocate the Wichita DCF Service Center from the Finney State Office Building, in downtown Wichita, to the former United States Postal Remote Encoding Center, 2601 S. Oliver St. The move will happen in 2015. No exact date has yet been identified.
“We feel this move is an important step to improving client services,” Secretary Gilmore said. “Enhanced safety features will also better protect clients and DCF staff.”
DCF has occupied the Finney State Office Building (FSOB) since October 1994. As the facility no longer meets the department’s need, the decision was made last year to relocate. In 2013, DCF adopted a new business-process model to minimize the time it takes for a client to receive an eligibility determination. DCF’s goal is to have first-contact resolution, to avoid repeated visits to DCF service centers. Previously, applications could take one month to process. The average is now eight to 10 days. Many clients have an eligibility determination the same day. The new process requires greater teamwork and communication between staff members.
“Throughout the process, we have carefully evaluated the needs of clients and staff. The new building will allow us to better serve clients through an improved layout, and staff will be able to fully embrace the Business Process Management method through an ideal work environment that allows open communication between staff members.”
The new 97,532 square feet facility will take approximately four months to renovate. Once renovations are complete, the building will include new carpet, tile, paint, two staff break rooms and secure interview rooms. The new space is ADA-compliant and features a single story with improved lighting and work spaces for employees. Safe and free parking for staff and clients is an additional benefit to the new location. It’s also along the bus route for added convenience.
“We appreciate the City of Wichita’s willingness to work with us on a lease extension, as we finalized our plans to move,” Secretary Gilmore said.
The move will create a 28 percent reduction in space and an $8 to $10 million-cost savings over the 20-year lease period. The space reduction will be realized through an improved, single-floor layout. No staffing levels were reduced.