Kansas to merge social services under large new department

January 08, 2020 - 2:38 pm

TOPEKA, Kans. -- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly revealed her plan Wednesday to combine social services offered by three agencies under a large umbrella organization.

The state is creating the new Kansas Department of Human Services, which will be a consolidation of the current Department for Aging and Disability Services, the Department for Children and Families and the juvenile services division of the Department of Corrections.

The department is scheduled to officially begin work July 1. 

"Everyone who has a job in one of these agencies today will have a job in the new agency," said Laura Howard, the current Secretary of Aging and Disability Services, who will head the new department. "It may not be the exact job they have now, but we're excited as we think of that new agency, to identify what those opportunities are for each individual."

The new KDHS will create a single point of access for child welfare, mental health, economic support and juvenile justice, Gov. Kelly said at a news conference. She will submit an executive reorganization order in the first 30 days of the current legislative session.

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