The departing leader of Kansas’ child welfare agency says it has put new grants to foster care contractors on hold at the request of Democratic Governor-elect Laura Kelly.

Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel announced the move Thursday after Kelly said she would replace Meier-Hummel at the Department for Children and Families.  Kelly takes office on January 14th.

Meier-Hummel said the grants awarded in November to five nonprofit organizations are in the best interest of children and families.  The four-year grants are set to start July 1st and will increase state spending on foster care by $35 million a year.

Kelly is a critic of the no-bid process for awarding the grants and accused DCF on Thursday of not being transparent.  Meier-Hummel said the process has been open and the agency has been transparent.

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