DCF defends new process for child welfare services

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The head of the Kansas Department of Children and Families says the agency's new process for choosing providers will make the agency's decisions more transparent.

The department is awarding grants rather than using traditional contracts, which were overseen by the Department of Administration.

MORE: DCF says big changes coming to Kansas' foster care system

Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said Thursday the awarding of grants has been the most transparent process the agency has ever had. She introduced three providers who will receive four-year grants for foster care and family preservation.

Some child care advocates are questioning why the state decided to change the process.

The Kansas City Star reports the state of Kansas has solicited bids for child welfare contracts for decades, using a process that included oversight by the Department of Administration and strict guidelines that promoted competition and ensured accountability.