News Stream

Should state “special investigators” be licensed?

Controversy has arisen in Kansas over the state’s use of non-licensed individuals to investigate child abuse cases, with the only eligibility requirement being a high school degree.

According to an August 13 report by Jonathan Shorman of the Topeka Capital Journal, the state has been hiring unlicensed investigators to research child abuse cases in order to save the state approximately $2.75 an hour. These employees are called “special investigators.”

The report highlights the fact that the only requirement to be hired as an investigator is a high school degree.

In a press release, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) contended that the report exaggerated the minimum requirement, and made it seem as if the department was arbitrarily hiring “individuals who walk straight out of high school.”

While not denying the report’s findings, the DCF contended in the press release that many of its investigators have backgrounds in social work and law enforcement.

But according to the report, hiring unlicensed, untrained “special investigators” is becoming the norm, as the DCF continues making cuts to shrink their budget.

Read the full report here.