Kelly unhappy with lack of psychiatric beds for children


TOPEKA — Incoming Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she is “stunned” by a state agency’s lack of response to a shortage of residential psychiatric beds for children.

The Wichita Eagle reports the shortage of beds has left about 140 Kansas youth waiting for residential psychiatric care.

During a meeting Tuesday of a task force studying the state’s child welfare system, Kelly suggested she wants significant changes after she takes office in January.

Susan Fout is deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services. In response to Kelly’s remarks, Fout acknowledged some children are not getting the psychiatric care they need in Kansas.

The centers that provide the care are privately operated. Fout said the agency can ask the centers to add beds, but can’t force them to do so.


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