BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ child welfare agency balked at releasing records about a 3-year-old girl whose battered body was found this month, despite a 2018 law that aimed to make such documents more transparent.
That law says Kansas Department for Children and Families’ documents are public records in the event child abuse or neglect results in a child fatality or near fatality. However, the agency declined to release to The Associated Press records pertaining to Olivia Ann Jansen, saying it is still investigating whether Olivia’s death was a result of abuse or neglect. Prosecutors have charged Olivia’s father and his girlfriend with murder.
“Much to my dismay DCF continues to handle protective services as a confidential undertaking and it shouldn’t be,” said state Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat. “The safety of our children is something all Kansans are entitled to know details and, if there has been malfeasance on the DCF, people need to know that.”
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