Kansas bucks trend in doubling down on welfare fraud

The Kansas Department for Children and Families has more than doubled the number of people working in its welfare fraud investigation unit from 11 to 24, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. The 13 new positions are expected to cost about $486,000. Meanwhile, other states that had beefed up their fraud units are now cutting back because they didn’t find enough fraud to justify the expense. Marilyn Harp, executive director of Kansas Legal Services, questioned the need for more people in the fraud unit, telling KHI that the state already has adequate tools for ferreting out the problem. She also is concerned about the message. “Kansas families are desperate for the help provided by these programs as temporary aid in times of trouble,” she said. “The stigma created by suggesting that those who use these programs are guilty of fraud is not consistent with the idea of building strong Kansas families.”