Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Children will lose

July 14, 2011

Advertisement

To the editor:

Many children will be hurt if Gov. Brownback closes the Lawrence office of the Kansas social service agency (SRS), as his administration has threatened. That’s because children, like people with disabilities, are core clients of these irreplaceable services.

Robert Siedlecki, the new SRS head, told the Journal-World that closing an office is like sacrificing a child. That couldn’t be more literally true — except that in this case many children will be sacrificed, not just one. Times are tough, especially for kids. Cases of child neglect and abuse have risen 11 percent in northeast Kansas in this fiscal year. And now Siedlecki, who lived in Florida until joining SRS in January, wants to close the service office!

In defense of his ill-advised decision, Siedlecki said that the child poverty rate in Douglas County (19 percent) is lower than in Shawnee and Wyandotte counties and that under 10 percent of the public in Douglas County is directly served by SRS. This shows two things: How much is at stake (one in five children, nearly one in 10 residents) and how little the Brownback administration seems to care.

But SRS remains open. The closure isn’t due until October. So we have time to resist. The city should file suit to overturn the decision. And we can rally again as we did on Monday at Plymouth Congregational Church, when 600 people stood up to be heard. The children of Lawrence will be defenseless only if we fail to defend them.

Comments

Bob Hechlor 2 years, 9 months ago

Lets just all vote "no" for governor.

0

none2 2 years, 9 months ago

I have a suggestion. What if all non-essential government offices moved to a four day week (four 10 hour days). Then those parts of buildings with non-essential departments would be unused for three days of the week.

So for instance, Douglas County would be closed for three days. During that time the SRS could share that space. Granted things would have to be adjusted for those that wish to attend religious services, but this has several possible positives:

1) More days off for government employees. 2) Maximizing the use of public space. 3) Sharing of printers, faxes, etc. 4) longer service hours for citizens who cannot make 9am to 4:30pm visits to government agencies..

I know it sounds rather strange, but it does mean options about having space for the SRS. If the whole state did it, then perhaps each county could at leave have a few SRS employees in their area.

0

sunny 2 years, 9 months ago

With an 18 Million dollar library...the takers will continue to find a way to take. Trust me!

0

Kelly Johnson 2 years, 9 months ago

During a difficult time in my life I had to utilize SRS services. I consider myself to be a decently intelligent person, but it was hard even for me to keep up with all the paperwork requirements and documentation, both in understanding exactly what they wanted and in providing it all. I know several people who have given up trying to get assistance because they had trouble figuring out the application process.

If it's this difficult to obtain services when you have a local office, imagine adding the headache of attempting to get transportation to KC or Topeka and/or trying to get to the library for internet access, since many of the people served by SRS don't have internet service at home. Their website is not the easiest to navigate, as well.

I really hope there's some way for this decision to be reversed.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

On the bright side brownback is so far to the right he's actually alienating some right wingers.

0

gogoplata 2 years, 9 months ago

Can we cut funding for the drug war next?

0

justajoke 2 years, 9 months ago

It seems that oneeye has all the answer.. Let me break this down. First of all the staff at the SRS office are not allowed to talked to anyone about these issues so they can't call Bert Nash or others to ask for space. This is all being done by the higher ups and nothing is being talked about to the staff. So really these people have no growing up to do.. Secondly you are correct that no one has lost their jobs yet but that won't be the case. Some of the people that work there are single parents and don't make a lot of money to begin with. There are also a few that walk to work. Now how can they afford to drive 35 mins to and hour to relocate?? They have worked for the State for many years and now this is happening. If you can afford to commute to another office then you will be forced to quit. Also you need to consider that other offices are closing too a people may chose to relocate to some of these communities. No one knows what spaces offices have available or what jobs they will even do when they get there. It seems you have all the answers so maybe you should head up the moving process. You don't hear these workers lives that are being changed by the closure complaining. They are still at work listening to all of the consumers needs and trying to stay positive for them.. Maybe you should show a bit of compassion and not make judgement until you work in that office for a while and realize what each employee does..

0

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 9 months ago

How are the "kids" going to suffer? None of the staff has been fired? Won't they still have the same job and show their ongoing compassion and concern?

HUH?

As for space, use Bert Nash, use Independence Inc. use space in churches, use space at Cottonwood. In other words, take the staff to the clients!

0

Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

Don't you love it when the government takes hostages? These people become dependent upon the state and now we're told if we want to shrink the state that children will be hurt. You folks are so nice.

0

Alceste 2 years, 9 months ago

I have read and heard that Brownbacks' vision for Kansas includes the enactment of a 22 year post birth abortion law. Post birth abortion is very different from pre-birth pregnancy termination as post birth allows both females and males acces to the technique. Brownback is seeking to strengthen families and providing parents with this powerful new parenting technique is high up on the "to do" list......

0

Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

I always thought kids were a blessing....then I had some! On the bright side caint have no grandkids unless you have your own.

0

boopie 2 years, 9 months ago

This coming from people that think children are a penalty for having sex. It's hard to take them serious.

0

boopie 2 years, 9 months ago

This coming from people that think children are a penalty for having sex. It's hard to take them serious.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

Hey brownie how about donating your "farm subsidy" to SRS?

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

But, but, but, children can't vote!

"Well I called my congressman and he said quote "I'd like to help you son, but you're too young to vote" - Jackson Alan, lyrics of 'Summertime Blues'

0

lunacydetector 2 years, 9 months ago

go ask the school district for one of their closed school buildings. s.r.s. is trying to save on rent. throw it back at them...they can have a building for free, then see what they say.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.