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Childrens Issues Cr

Childrens Issues Cr

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June 2009
JOINT COMMITTEE
Report of the
Joint Committee on Children’s Issues
to the
2009 Kansas Legislature
CHAIRPERSON: Senator Julia Lynn
VICE-CHAIRPERSON: Representative Mike Kiegerl
OTHER MEMBERS: Senators David Haley, Laura Kelly, Roger Reitz, and Susan Wagle; and
Representatives Marti Crow, Brenda Landwehr, Bill Otto, and Sue Storm
STUDY TOPICS
The Committee is directed statutorily to study children’s issues the Committee deems necessary.
LCC REFERRED TOPIC
Child Care Licensing. Study child care licensing in Kansas. Review whether the present
system is providing the exibility to meet the needs of working parents, while protecting the
safety of children in Kansas. Review the estimated need of child care slots as compared to
available child care slots. Also study: (1) increasing the number of before school and after
school children allowed when more than one adult provider is present; (2) adjusting regulations
which apply to siblings as they contribute to the total number of children allowed over ve
years of age when there is more than one adult provider present; (3) increasing the number of
children allowed over ve years of age when there is more than one provider and one of the
providers is a certi ed teacher or a pediatric or registered nurse; (4) encouraging the expansion
of the role of schools, cities, and counties in operating child care facilities for the community if
no state funds are involved; (5) expanding the role of schools, cities, and counties in operating
child care facilities if they meet Kansas Department of Health and Environment standards; and
(6) offering tax or other business incentives to individuals or businesses which are interested
in starting child care facilities or upgrading to certain high child care standards.
Kansas Legislative Research Department
6-3
2008 Children’s Issues
BACKGROUND
The Joint Committee on Children’s Issues
was created in 1998 as part of legislation enacting
the state children’s health insurance program,
known as HealthWave in Kansas. In 2008, SB 81
was enacted, which transferred the Committee’s
responsibility for overseeing the implementation
and operation of the children’s health insurance
program to the Joint Committee on Health
Policy Oversight. As currently speci ed in KSA
46-3001, the Joint Committee on Children’s
Issues is responsible for addressing children’s
issues as the Committee deems necessary.
For the 2008 interim the Legislative
Coordinating Council (LCC) requested the
Committee review child care licensing in the
Joint Committee on Children’s Issues
CHILD CARE LICENSING
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Committee recognizes the need for additional resources to assist parents of children with an
autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Committee therefore supports the legislation that will be
introduced by the Legislative Educational Planning Committee (LEPC) to mandate insurance
coverage for individuals with autism.
The Committee expresses concern over lengthy Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
waiting lists. However, the Committee also acknowledges the current revenue situation for the
State of Kansas. Until additional funding can be added to reduce the waiting lists, the Committee
recommends further study of whether individuals could be allowed to pay for HCBS services
out-of-pocket without having their names removed from the waiting list.
The Committee expresses concern regarding the use and de nition of the term “supervision”
as it relates to child care providers. The Committee looks forward to the results of the in-depth
review by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) “Best” Team regarding
this and other issues related to child care. It is anticipated that the “Best” Team’s report will be
submitted to the Legislature by January 2009.
As part of the “Best” Team review process for foster care and family preservation services, the
Committee requests the Team focus speci cally on the relative roles of KDHE and the Department
of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) to ensure adequate coordination between the two
agencies.
The Committee requests that it be allowed to meet during the 2009 Legislative Session to review
further the issues it has examined during the 2008 Interim.
Proposed Legislation: The Committee does not have authority to propose legislation.
Kansas Legislative Research Department
6-4
2008 Children’s Issues
state. In addition to the topic referred by the
LCC, the Committee addressed issues related to
autism and foster care.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES
The Committee was granted four meeting
days for the 2008 Interim. It met on November
10, December 9-10, and December 19, 2008.
The Committee meetings and deliberations are
summarized below.
Children with Autism and the Public
Schools.The Committee received presentations
from three school districts - Olathe-USD
233, Blue Valley-USD 229, and Shawnee
Mission-USD 512. Of cials from the three
school districts provided information on the
services for children with autism. Two of the
school districts invited a parent of a child with
an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to speak as
well. The district representatives and the parents
described an array of services which, they said,
had improved over time.
Individuals representing the Kansas State
Department of Education (KSDE) and the Kansas
Instructional Support Network (KISN) then gave
an overview of (1) special education services for
children from age three to twenty-one, and (2)
various aspects of services to children with an
ASD across Kansas. Both noted improvements
in services have been made in various areas
across the state, with signi cant improvement in
training, but gaps still exist.
Dr. Bill Craig, Chairman of the Kansas
Autism Task Force (KATF), emphasized the
need for early diagnosis and intervention for
children with an ASD. The opportunity for these
children to lead normal or near-normal lives is
missed without early diagnosis and intervention.
Dr. Craig also provided the Committee with
the KATF 2008 nal report. Finally, Dr. Craig
explained the need for the KATF to be extended
beyond its December 31, 2008 expiration date.
Dr. Mike Wasmer, KATF Member,
summarized Kate’s Law, a bill proposed by
the KATF which would mandate insurance
coverage for autism-related care. The bill will
be introduced by the LEPC. Dr. Wasmer then
spoke about his experience as the parent of a
child with autism, for whom the bill was named.
Other parents testi ed as well (including two
additional KATF members), summarizing their
problematic experiences. Some of the issues
centered around (1) a perceived reluctance on
the part of school personnel to acknowledge
that a student with an Individualized Education
Plan (IEP) needed a particular service, since
services deemed necessary must be provided to
students with IEPs; (2) the need for diagnostic
and treatment services in several areas of the
state; and (3) the need for and bene t of early
intervention.
Individuals with Autism and Transition
from High School to Adulthood.
The
Committee heard from several parents and young
people with an ASD, who provided testimony
about their experiences in the transition process.
A number of concerns were expressed, among
them the following:
The long waiting list for services allowed
through the HCBS waiver for individuals
with a developmental disability (HCBS/
DD waiver). According to statistics cited in
the 2008 KATF nal report, the combined
waiting list (for unserved as well as
underserved individuals) is approximately
3,000 individuals. One parent testi ed
that her adult child would lose many, if not
most, of the skills he had received while in
school during his impending wait for these
services;
The inexibility of the HCBS waiver system.
A parent testi ed she had inquired about
paying for some of the services offered while
her adult child spent time on the waiting list.
She was told that, if she chose to pay, her
child’s name would be removed from the

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