- Policy & Research
- About KHI
Originally published July 2, 2012 at 11:20 a.m., updated July 3, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.
TOPEKA State officials held a "ribbon cutting" ceremony today to mark the reorganization and renaming of two social service agencies.
The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is now officially the Department on Children and Families.
The Kansas Department on Aging has become the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
The changes resulted from Executive Reorganization Order 41, which was signed earlier this year by Gov. Sam Brownback.
As part of the changes, oversight of services for the disabled and the state hospitals were moved from SRS to the new agency on aging and disability services, which is headed by Secretary Shawn Sullivan.
Brownback during the ceremony called it a "momentous day in the history of Kansas government."
The Department of Children and Families will continue to provide children and adult protection services, adoption services, foster care support, child support services, welfare and food assistance programs and services dedicated to vocational rehabilitation that previously were handled by SRS. The reorganized agency will have an annual budget of about $600 million, officials said.
The agency is headed by Secretary Phyllis Gilmore.
Gilmore said the goals of the new agency would be to "strengthen families, safely reduce the number of children in (state) care, promote employment, responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds and to build public and private partnerships."
The agency's redesigned website was launched Sunday.
The agency's four major programs or divisions also were renamed. Children and Family Services is now Prevention and Protection Services. Child Support Enforcement is now Child Support Services. Economic and Employment Support is now Economic and Employment Services. Rehabilitation Services is now Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
The agency's central office will remain at the same address in the Docking State Office Building, 915 SW Harrison, Topeka, KS 66612.
Each of the 39 former SRS service centers across the state will remain at the same locations, officials said. Customer service can still be reached toll-free at 1-888-369-4777.
The new Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services now includes the former Kansas Department on Aging and the former Disability and Behavioral Health Services Division at SRS and parts of the Health Occupations Credentialing Division previously at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The reorganized agency will administer services to older adults and also mental health, addiction and prevention programs, the state hospitals and institutions, home and community-based services.
The changes will make what once was one of the smallest of the state cabinet agencies into the second largest with an annual budget of about $1.7 billion, including about $154.9 million for the state hospitals.
“There are differences between the older adults and persons with disabilities whom we will serve under the new agency, but they also represent many common challenges: helping people to stay independent and healthy as long as possible, the need for quality housing and competent caregivers and the necessity of navigating a fragmented health care system,” KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said in a prepared statement.
Sullivan said KDADS’ goals are to keep older adults and persons with disabilities at home and independent as long as possible. He said the agency would work toward providing an integrated and coordinated Medicaid system.
Additional information can be found on the department’s new website, .
All aging programs will continue to be housed at the New England building, 503 S. Kansas Ave., in downtown Topeka. Disability services will remain housed for the time being in the Docking Building at 915 SW Harrison in downtown Topeka, officials said.
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.