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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Kansas.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Kansas was:

Round 1 (2001)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 5 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 1 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2008)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 3 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Kansas will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2015 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • Sheila A. v. Whiteman
    Plaintiffs alleged that the Kansas child welfare system violated Title IV-E, the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the Federal Due Process Clause, the Kansas Code for Care of Children, and the Kansas Constitution. The Kansas system had a number of serious deficiencies and had the highest recidivism in the country, with children who had been in foster care and were returned to their parents often returning to the system.

*litigation summaries taken from information provided by the websites of the National Center for Youth Law

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Kansas Children and Families Department names new ombudsman (Associated Press - January 27, 2015) Kendra Baker has taken over the post and will be working to address the needs and concerns of Kansas' estimated 2,500 foster families.
  • Kansas Action for Children (KAC) views $15 million cut as assault on child welfare (Topeka Capital-Journal - January 13, 2015)"We really need to roll back the whole enchilada," said Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children. "My fear for children and families in Kansas is that many tax proposals are highly regressive."
  • New effort underway on foster parents bill of rights (Topeka Capital Journal - December 28, 2014) Lawmakers and advocates are resurrecting an effort to pass a foster care parent's bill of rights as the new legislative session approaches. Legislation passed the Senate during the 2014 session only to die in a House committee.
  • Priority is ensuring safety of kids (Opinion) (Wichita Eagle - December 27, 2014) It cannot be said enough: Our No. 1 priority as social workers is to ensure the safety and well-being of children. In order to carry out this task, our agency must walk the fine line between preserving the rights of parents and intervening on behalf of a child, should the situation warrant.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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