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Newsroom DCF Secretary Receives National Recognition for Welfare Reform

TOPEKA – On Monday night, Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore was honored with the 2016 Executive of the Year Award from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), for her leadership in helping Kansans attain self-reliance through employment. The awards ceremony was held during the FGA national conference, in Ka​nsas City, Mo.

“Our social safety nets are designed to help those who truly can’t help themselves, and to catch those who stumble, but the goal should always be to help each individual achieve prosperity and independence,” said Tarren Bragdon, FGA CEO. “Gilmore has helped achieve this with a common-sense approach to welfare reform in Kansas. Our welfare programs do the most good when they are helping people leave dependency and enjoy a better life, and the Kansas DCF is truly a leader in helping people escape poverty.”

Since Governor Sam Brownback first took office, nearly 40,000 new employments have been reported by Kansans who were on cash assistance. After Kansas restored work requirements in the food assistance program in 2013, for able-bodied adults without dependent children, nearly 60 percent of those clients who left the program were employed within 12 months, and their incomes increased by an average of almost 130 percent during that first year. According to the latest Kids Count report released this week, 6,000 fewer children are living in poverty in Kansas, compared to the previous year’s report. The Kansas HOPE Act, enacted in 2015 and enhanced in 2016 with additional reforms, has helped low-income Kansans move from welfare dependency to self-reliance. The HOPE Act is the most comprehensive welfare reform legislation passed in the United States. And other states are following the lead of Governor Brownback.

“I thank FGA for taking the time to recognize Kansas’ efforts to empower residents to reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty,” Secretary Gilmore said. “This has truly been a joint effort that has involved the leadership of Governor Brownback, Kansas legislators, our staff and the clients who are doing the hard work to better their lives.”

For more information about FGA, please contact Charles Siler at 202-487-8652.