DCF To Reduce Evidence Needed To Show Child Abuse, Neglect

The Kansas agency that investigates child abuse plans to lower the standard of evidence needed to substantiate a claim of abuse or neglect.
Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore told state lawmakers Tuesday that the agency will decrease the standard of evidence from “clear and convincing” to “preponderance of the evidence” which prioritizes evidence by level of importance.

The change will not constrain judges, who decide whether to remove a child from a home, but will make it easier for the agency to get individuals accused of abusing or neglecting a child onto a state registry. People placed on the registry are prohibited from working or living in a child care home or facility.

State Sen. Laura Kelly said she would like clear-cut examples of what difference the change in standard of evidence would have made in certain cases.