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Foster care administrators leave DCF

Department says staff changes part of organizational re-evaluation

By Dave Ranney | December 02, 2014

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families on Tuesday announced that Deputy Secretary Kathe Decker and Prevention and Protection Services Director Brian Dempsey have left the agency.

Anna Pilato, director of the department’s divisions for strategic development and community and faith-based initiatives, is due to leave later this month.

“As is normal with a new term, we have re-evaluated our organizational structure and identified places where we can be more efficient,” Theresa Freed, communications director at DCF, wrote in an email to KHI News Service.

“Some individuals have been let go, decided to move on or accept different positions within the agency,” Freed said. “Although we cannot discuss specific personnel matters, we can say that the changes are unrelated to any one issue.”

Dempsey and Decker oversaw the administration of the state’s foster care program, which in recent months has taken in record and near-record numbers of children.

According to DCF reports, 6,156 foster children were in “out-of-home placements” in April, which, at the time, was an all-time high. Since then, the monthly counts have topped that number in May, June, July and October.

In October, 6,215 foster children were in out-of-home placements.

DCF officials have attributed the increases to corresponding greater public awareness. Child advocates have cited how the increases coincided with cuts in the state’s public assistance programs.

Freed said Dempsey’s position has been filled by Michael Myers, director at the department’s regional office in Overland Park since 2012.

Jaime Rogers, she said, has been named deputy secretary of family services, replacing Decker, a former Republican legislator from Clay Center. Rogers had been director of economic and employment services at DCF.

Freed said Pilato’s position “will be left vacant.”

According to state records, Pilato’s annual salary last year was $97,500. Decker’s salary was $90,000 and Dempsey’s was $66,600.

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