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Wichita regional director for Kansas Department for Children and Families resigns

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, at 9:17 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.

Diane Bidwell, director of the Wichita regional office for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, resigned Monday.

Bidwell’s last day will be Friday, Theresa Freed, a DCF spokeswoman, said in an article posted Monday night on the Kansas Health Institute website. Bidwell and Freed did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

Earlier this month, the state began an investigation into the Wichita office, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported, amid complaints it was guiding children at risk of entering the foster care system to FaithBuilders, a nonprofit organization that works with the foster system.

Andrea Dixon, the founder and director of FaithBuilders, directed calls Monday night to the group’s attorney, Gary Ayers.

“Whether or not she (Bidwell) resigned should have no impact on FaithBuilders, because its primary ministry is to minister to families and the children of families,” Ayers said.

FaithBuilders, Ayers said, has helped 350 to 400 children.

“The organization supports families,” he said. “When those families are brought into the system, they will follow the families and support families into the system.

“FaithBuilders has existed from 2007 through the tenure of Diane Bidwell and will continue doing what it has always done: minister to families.”

Bidwell worked for DCF for 2 1/2 years. The memo posted on the website said an interim director will be named soon.

The memo also said: “We would like to thank Diane for taking on the tremendous responsibility of leading our Wichita office. She was involved in many successful endeavors. … Most recently, she has done a great deal of work to facilitate a move from the Finney State Office Building to improve safety and efficiency for clients and staff. These are just a few of her many contributions. We wish her well.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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