"The system is broken. What’s the Legislature doing about it?
I’m 22 years old. I spent seven years in foster care in Kansas. For the past 18 months, I’ve heard legislators promise to fix a system they said was broken, but first, they said they needed to hear the recommendations from the Child Welfare System Task Force.
Many of those recommendations are now in Senate Bill 12, which would improve families’ access to critical safety net programs. The chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, Sen. Gene Suellentrop from Wichita, is refusing to hold a hearing on the bill, so it isn’t going anywhere.
I’d like to know why that is. I keep hearing people say they care about what happens to kids who are going through what I went through, but when it comes time to do something, they just sit there."
"Kansas awarded grants worth more than $17 million for child welfare services in the state’s western region to a troubled Florida agency that did not apply for the work.
The grants were awarded last year, when Gina Meier-Hummel led the Department for Children and Families and Jeff Colyer was governor. Before then, child welfare funds in Kansas typically were distributed through contracts that were overseen by the state Department of Administration.
'This is certainly disturbing and quite frankly bizarre,' said Benet Magnuson, executive director of Kansas Appleseed, a nonprofit justice center serving vulnerable Kansans. 'This process raises a lot of red flags, and frankly doesn’t make a lot of sense. An agency wouldn’t act like this if they expected any transparency at all.'"