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Overhaul of Kansas foster-care system urged

Original Link: http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1682382.html

TOPEKA | Legislation to end Kansas’ privatized foster care system is the latest volley from lawmakers who say the state lacks oversight over the contractors managing such child welfare services.

Dozens of parents who lost custody of their children have complained to lawmakers in recent weeks that the state and its contractor caseworkers remove children without giving sufficient reason or the chance to appeal.

The legislation would stop the state from signing new deals with the foster care contractors. The Johnson County lawmaker behind the new legislation said it’s meant to force contractors to answer questions if they want to keep the state’s business.

“We’re certainly going to get their attention,” said Rep. Mike Kiegerl, an Olathe Republican. “There’s a lack of oversight, a lack of transparency. Nobody ought to have the kind of power these caseworkers have.”

The contractors and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services say they’re happy to address lawmakers’ concerns.

They note that local police and judges also play a key role in deciding when a child should be removed.

SRS officials promised to investigate the complaints raised by parents. But they stand by the privatized system, which was the first of its kind in the United States when it began in 1996.

“We feel like we have made a lot of accomplishments since privatization,” said SRS spokeswoman Michelle Ponce.

Kyle Kessler, a spokesman for contractor KVC Behavioral HealthCare, said his company will “provide any information that is requested.”

To reach David Klepper, call 785-354-1388 or send e-mail to dklepper@kcstar.com.

Posted on Wed, Jan. 13, 2010 10:55 PM

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Help for Those in Kansas

Children all over the USA are being taken from loving families on falsified documents. The CPS Secretary of Kansas stated that the Sedgwick County DA "bullied" Social Workers into falsifying affidavits to remove children. Please view this website for more information and help BE A Voice for all children.
http://kansascpspostaudit. blogspot.com/
Contact Leo Hafner and let him know the USA is watching this Audit:
Deputy Post Auditor
Leo Hafner
leo.hafner@lpa. ks.gov

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