TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the opening of a new service center at 2250 E. 22nd St. in Hays. The center opened Nov. 17, moving its services from the former location at 3000 Broadway.
DCF, which provides a wide range of services to Kansans in need, including cash, food and child care assistance, as well as employment programs, consolidated its facilities in Hays from two buildings into the new 17,734 square-foot facility. A state-of-the-art video and alarm security system and greater energy efficiency are some of the other features of the new DCF service center, which houses 50 employees. Construction began on the new facility in April.
“Important work is being done here to help people in a respectful manner to go from dependency to independence,” DCF Chief of Staff Jeff Kahrs told the approximately 50 visitors in attendance. “We want this building to communicate to our clients ‘we respect you. You’re important to us.’”
The renovations are part of a larger effort to improve DCF’s 38 service centers throughout the state. This effort is known as Project Refresh. The goal is to create professional standards for DCF office reception areas that reflect and advance the agency’s mission to protect children, promote healthy families and encourage personal responsibility.
“Our service centers are the face of the agency,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said. “They set the tone for our employees and clients. We want them to be professional and uplifting environments.”
The 15-year lease for the building has a five-year renewal option. The building is an ADA-compliant, single story structure with an adjoining off-street parking area. The building is located on a city bus route.