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TOPEKA, KS (AP) -- Kansas will boost its annual spending on foster care by $35 million under state Department for Families and Children grants that have been awarded to five contractors.

DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel had a news conference Thursday to introduce the contractors and discuss how she believes the grants will improve services for abused and neglected children. The department announced them Nov. 1 , six months after requesting proposals from interested parties.

The grants run four years, starting July 1. The state expects to spend $245 million on foster care during the fiscal year beginning on that date. That's a 17 percent increase over the current fiscal year.

Departing Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer's administration announced the grants five days before Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly was elected governor. She takes office Jan. 14.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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