TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Family (DCF) Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel is now in the process of reviewing 393 suggestions and comments made during a week-long Request for Information (RFI). On Friday, April 20, the agency announced that it would gather public input on existing foster care contracts, as it prepares to release the bid for new foster care grants (grants will replace contracts, going forward). During the RFI, which included a public meeting and online submission, the Secretary received a wide range of opinions from interested parties, such as stakeholders, community and contracted partners, families, foster parents, staff and the general public. Some of the most common concerns addressed in the feedback have been high turnover rate of caseworkers, lack of proper oversight of contractors, lack of proper funding for staff, high caseloads, need for more quality training and a lack of collaboration between agencies and organizations.
“We want to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts; clearly the public cares about this issue and wants the best for Kansas families,” said Secretary Meier-Hummel. “As we begin the process of evaluating the comments and concerns collected, our goal is to take each one into consideration.”
In an ongoing effort to promote transparency and accountability, the Secretary and her staff are responding to each comment made. The comments and responses will be available at a later date on the DCF website.
“We have made it a priority to listen to all parties involved, so that we can make informed decisions regarding the well-being of children and families in our state,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “This was just one step in the process of ensuring that we protect the best interest of those we serve.”