Kansas DCF Settles Lawsuit

Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard has announced a settlement between the State and plaintiffs in a 2018 class action lawsuit.

Advocates sued the state, arguing Kansas was not providing enough mental health care, and shuffled children between homes too frequently.

The settlement includes requirements that the state will not use offices, cars, or motels for overnight stays, ensure crisis intervention is available statewide, end short-term placements of 14 days or shorter by the end of 2023, end night-to-night placements by the end of 2021, and end delays in authorizing mental health treatment.

There are also requirements covering outcomes, plus accountability.

DCF says that the settlement’s requirements can be met without substantial new expenditures by the state, and Governor Laura Kelly says that no new legislation would be needed.

The settlement will not be final until after notice is given to the class members and the court holds a final fairness hearing in approximately 90 days.