Kansas’s struggling foster care is suffering from a shortage of foster care workers because the requirements are too high. Many workers feel that the requirements are too restrictive because of the different standards in different states. Some states do not require licenses, and some do not even require that their workers have degrees in social work. In Kansas, a social worker must have a bachelor’s in social work.
Lack of Employees
In some cases, the vacancies can last for months. Due to the lack of workers, case supervisors and managers are often tasked with taking on large caseloads. However, it is highly recommended by DCF that they not have cases. Because of the strict requirements, many members of the staff do not have the experience in Children and Family Services. Government officials realize that there is an issue, but want to ensure that lessening the requirements won’t lower the standard expected of caseworkers. This standard is important to maintain because Kansas has one of the most innocuous child welfare systems in the United States and to loosen the requirements too much could hinder that. This could harm the children that are in the foster care system.
Increased Number of Children
The issue has become even more problematic as the foster care system is being overwhelmed by the influx of children in the past couple of years. The rapid turnover rate increases the lack of stability that the children experience. It can also contribute to child abuse, both physical and sexual as the caseworkers may not be able to keep up with the in-home visits. Fortunately, the state has begun to act by promoting jobs and degrees in the field of Child and Family Services. This has led to an increase of degrees in the area.
Learn More About Kansas’s Struggling Foster Care System
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