Kansas social workers keep licenses despite child tragedies

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A newspaper review of five years of disciplinary actions shows that social workers rarely lose their license after high-profile deaths or injuries of children under the care of the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

The Wichita Eagle examined every disciplinary action posted on Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board's website from 2013 through the first months of this year. The board has the power to both issue and revoke licenses for social workers.

The review found that licenses were rarely revoked in DCF-related cases where the board has disciplined social workers.

The department says it encourages workers to report unethical behavior, but acknowledges the agency itself doesn't make complaints to the board.

DCF is facing public scrutiny over several child deaths, including a 3-year-old Wichita boy whose body was found encased in concrete last year.