DCF Audit: Kansas needs more experienced case workers

Topeka, Kan. (KWCH) - A state audit into the Department of Children and Families found Kansas needs more experienced case workers.

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit released the last part of a three-part audit Friday afternoon. The latest report found some of the state's foster care contractors often ask supervisors to take on large case loads because of staff vacancies. The report also found that many staff members exceed education requirements, but lacked sufficient experience required by state contracts.

The report found the state has enough foster care beds available overall, but that many are not available in the cities or counties where they are most needed.

The audit found the agency's data on removal and placement of children was often incomplete and inaccurate. It recommended the agency focus on improving management and oversight.

The DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said Kansas is one of the safest child welfare systems in the country, but that is not enough.

"We will strive to make ours the most efficient, effective and successful system possible. Doing so allows us to protect our most vulnerable residents, while empowering families with the tools they need to be healthy and to safely stay together," Gilmore said.