Agency chief: Kansas has no backlog of child abuse reports

The top administrator of the state agency charged with investigating reports of child abuse and neglect in Kansas is rejecting allegations that it fell behind in reviewing those reports.

Secretary Phyllis Gilmore of the Department for Children and Families also said in a recent interview that a legislative leader’s resulting criticism could hinder the agency’s efforts to protect vulnerable kids.

Questions arose because of a DCF manager’s internal Sept. 22 email saying reporting centers faced a “backlog” because of “a severe staffing issue.”

Incoming Kansas House Democratic Leader Jim Ward said Republican Gov. Sam Brownback should fire Gilmore.

But DCF officials said “priority” reports of abuse to its two reporting centers are being handled within hours. The reports include any cases involving children with visible bruises.