DCF still checking on kids and families during coronavirus pandemic

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Many state government agencies are opting to work from home as the coronavirus continues to spread. But what does that mean for agency that does a lot of important in-person work?

A large portion of the work the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) conducts involve visiting homes and meeting with families to make sure kids are safe and well taken care of. Representatives from the department say, despite the coronavirus pandemic, that is still happening but some changes have been implemented.

Deputy Secretary for DCF, Tanya Keys, says that staff are still making regular contact with families, as normal. To help prevent the spread of the virus, meetings are now done via video calls, if the family is able. However, if the family doesn’t have internet access or is otherwise unable to do a video call, or in case of emergencies, staff are also still doing in-person visits. This involves asking coronavirus screening questions to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. The department also have personal protective equipment, like masks, to enter homes, if necessary.

Keys says department staff is still available to take calls and answer questions.

“We want to know how you’re doing. We want to know if we need to connect you to any additional supports in this time,” explained Keys. “If you haven’t heard from us, you’ll hear from us soon.”

The Kansas Protection Report Center is still staffed and ready to take reports of suspected abuse or neglect. If you need to report something, call the toll-free number at 1-800-922-5330.

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