Investigations into Kansas child deaths shrouded in secrecy

January 29, 2017 - 10:48 pm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas welfare officials rarely release details after a child's death or serious injury despite a decade-old law designed to provide more transparency.

The Kansas City Star reports that it has made numerous requests for documents to see how officials with the Kansas Department for Children and Families were complying with the 2004 law.

Of 15 media requests, covering 10 cases, the department released information about the department's involvement in only one instance. In several cases, judges kept information sealed at the request of prosecutors, police departments and even parents suspected of abuse.

Department Secretary Phyllis Gilmore says the agency is "constantly striving to make sure children in Kansas are safe."

Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, says the current law requiring disclosure has "too many loopholes."
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