Governor Laura Kelly Proposes Agency Reorganization to Aid Vulnerable Kansans

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Governor Laura Kelly has announced her intent to once again submit an executive reorganization order (ERO) to the Kansas Legislature creating the Kansas Department of Human Services (KDHS).

The new agency will include the current programs at the Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).

“Creating the Department of Human Services ensures Kansas families and individuals have easier access to critical services and improves engagement between our service centers, clients and local stakeholders by creating a single point of entry for those accessing a variety of needs,” Governor Kelly said. “Through this ERO, my administration reaffirms our commitment to ensuring vulnerable Kansans have someone advocating for them in Topeka.”

Programs in the new agency will include adult protective services, adult behavioral health, long-term services and supports, economic supports, employment supports, children's mental health supports, child protective services, foster care, prevention, licensing, credentialing, survey and certification, Larned State Hospital, Parsons State Hospital, Osawatomie State Hospital and the Kansas Neurological Institute.

Current Secretary of DCF and KDADS, Laura Howard, will lead the new KDHS.

“This is not going to be business as usual,” Secretary Howard said. “This new combined agency provides us the opportunity to modernize systems for youth, families and the elderly. KDHS means less bureaucracy standing between clients and the services they need. I look forward to collaborating with communities across the state to guarantee individuals have seamless access to the supports and services they need to achieve their goals and to make sure we are walking alongside families as they address their challenges head-on.”

Governor Kelly will submit the ERO to the legislature on January 21. The ERO becomes effective on July 1, following its transmittal to the Legislature, unless within 60 calendar days of transmittal, either the Senate or House adopts a resolution disapproving it.

(Information courtesy Office of the Governor.)