The beleaguered head of the Kansas Department for Children and Families is retiring. DCF secretary Phyllis Gilmore has recently taken hits for problems with the state’s foster care system. Gilmore’s response to news of missing foster children last month prompted calls for her removal. State representative Jarrod Ousley, a Democrat from Merriam serving on a task force looking into the handling of foster care, says Gilmore’s exit opens the door for improvements.
In response to the secretary’s retirement, effective December 1st, Governor Sam Brownback credited Gilmore for a statewide reduction in child poverty and for the drop in the number of Kansans on welfare. A spokeswoman for the governor said a decision about Gilmore’s replacement will be made in the coming weeks.