Letter to the editor: Fixing DCF

To the editor:

I appreciated the Journal-World editorial (Sept. 12) urging lawmakers to reform the state’s long-floundering foster care system, and I welcomed Department for Children and Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel recognizing that her agency needs more money and more staff.

But let’s not forget that DCF’s dismal performance is a direct consequence of Gov. Sam Brownback’s reckless quest to shrink government at any cost and his appointees’ willingness to assure legislators that all was well when the opposite was true.

DCF is short of money and staff because Meier-Hummel’s predecessors, Phyllis Gilmore and Rob Siedlecki, said they weren’t needed. Instead, they pushed a theory that cutting struggling families’ access to food, day care, public assistance would somehow make everything better. It’s been a giant failure.

Over the next few weeks, our candidates for governor should explain how they intend to fix this mess.

Dave Ranney,



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