Most services for troubled children in the Lawrence area will change hands Saturday when Kansas Children's Service League assumes responsibility for children awaiting adoption and DCCCA takes over the state contract for family preservation services.
Whether the switch in contractors will affect the children remains to be seen.
"We're expecting a smooth transition," said Tina Long, a spokeswoman for the Topeka-based KCSL.
Earlier this year, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services awarded KCSL the state contract for adoption services. KCSL replaces the Wichita-based Lutheran Social Services, which has had the adoption contract since 1997.
DCCCA, based in Lawrence, was awarded the contract for family preservation services throughout the state, replacing five regional contractors.
Kaw Valley Center, based in Kansas City, Kan., will continue to oversee foster care services in an eight-county area that includes Douglas, Jefferson and Franklin counties.
In the Lawrence area, KCSL will share its adoption contract with The Shelter.
"The Shelter will keep the kids they have now and they'll be getting 75 percent of all new referrals," Long said. "KCSL will take the remaining 25 percent."
Today, The Shelter is responsible for 12 Douglas County children awaiting adoption. On Saturday, it will assume responsibility for five children now cared for by The Farm, an Emporia-based program that's taking over the foster-care contract for southeast Kansas.
Two Douglas County children now with TLC, a group home in Kansas City, Kan., will remain there, Long said.
Outside of Douglas County, The Shelter and KCSL will care for the following numbers of children awaiting adoption:
- Jefferson County -- 9
- Jackson -- 7
- Atchison -- 5
- Brown -- 1
- Doniphan -- 3
"I think we'll be fine," said Judy Culley, The Shelter's executive director. "I'm sure there'll be some snags, but we should be able to deal with them without too much trouble.
"I'm not expecting a repeat of the last time we went through this," she said, referring to the confusion that plagued the start of the 1997 contracts. The state privatized its family and child services that year.
Culley said The Shelter and KCSL agreed to split the Lawrence-area caseload to avoid overloading The Shelter's staff and budget.
KCSL will subcontract with Lutheran Social Services for adoptions services in 41 of the state's 105 counties. The 41-county area includes the cities of Wichita, Topeka, Hutchinson, Hays and Chanute.
Statewide, KCSL expects to care for about 400 of the 1,500 children now awaiting adoption in Kansas. Services for the remaining 1,100 children will be provided by subcontractors Lutheran Social Services, The Shelter and TLC.
After Saturday, KCSL expects to handle 45 percent of the new referrals. The subcontractors will handle the remaining 55 percent.