Review recommended of Kansas privatized child welfare model

Kansas Statehouse.jpg

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas lawmakers are recommending a review of the state’s privatized child welfare model to decide whether it’s in the state’s best interest.

 The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Child Welfare System Task Force received the request Monday from two working groups it created to examine the system of programs operated within the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

The 1996 privatized model involves the department contracting with outside nonprofits to manage placing children into homes. Some lawmakers suggest privatization makes it difficult for the state to properly oversee the child welfare system, which has been scrutinized in recent years because of children who died in custody.

Department Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel says the agency’s challenges aren’t due to privatization.

The task force is expected to make final recommendations to the Legislature at the end of the year.

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