WICHITA, Kansas — After our KSN investigation into case response time at the Kansas Department for Children and Families, or DCF, revealed concerning information about the events that led up to the December 2014 death of 10-year-old Wellington boy, Caleb Blansett, Wichita father, Mark Jordan is concerned.
After watching our first story, KSN Investigates: DCF response time policy, Mark Jordan says his fear is that DCF will never change.
Jordan shared his family’s experience with the state’s child protective services agency, formerly Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, SRS, with us.
“I’m continuing to see more and more kids that are being abused by the system,” said Mark Jordan. “How long will it take this system to get [it] right?”
In 2004, Mark Jordan says that SRS wrongly removed his two daughters from his custody. This, he says, after he tried to keep a 21-year-old man from pursuing a relationship with his then 13-year-old.
“They had no right to have my kids,” Jordan said.
SRS alleged child abuse after Jordan reportedly spanked his daughter once in February 2004.
In September of that year, SRS removed his daughters from their home, citing that February case.
The daughters spent about ten months in foster care, and during that time, the 21-year-old man got Mark Jordan’s teenage daughter pregnant. Mark and his wife, Pam, got custody back after this time.
“She didn’t cause this. She was supposed to be protected. I was protecting her,” the father said.
In 2007, Mark Jordan drew attention to his case and support for his fight for greater oversight and correction at the agency.
In September 2007, he spoke exclusively with KSN after receiving some hope about possible change to come at the department.
Mark and Pam Jordan said they wanted changes in the system that allowed their daughter to get raped, and then pregnant, while in foster care.
“We were fighting this big beast, and finally, we feel like this big beast is going to have to answer, at least,” Jordan said in September that year. “The big beast is going to have to answer and, in time, maybe other families aren’t going to have to suffer at the hands at what we had to suffer.”
Mark Jordan now says that “time” has passed and Kansas families continue suffering, including the Blansett family.
“When I heard about and read the KSN story about the young kid [Caleb Blansett] that had passed away, there’s no way that I could say that the system has changed,” said Jordan. “Look what happened to my daughter, and this stuff is continuing to go on.”
Mark Jordan says the problem is, and always has been, the state system and its lack of outside accountability.
“[We need someone to] Come into the state to say, ‘Hey, let’s go back and look at the records, and see what you guys have done over the years.’ Until that happens, these guys are going to continue to do what they’ve been doing, because they don’t have anyone watching over them,” said Jordan.
LEGISLATIVE AUDIT UPDATE:
Representatives Jim Ward and Ed Trimmer contacted KSN Tuesday, telling KSN News that our investigation into DCF has prompted the lawmakers to put together a post audit of the state agency. That post audit into DCF is regarding children falling through the cracks in Kansas.
Rep. Ward tells KSN they will inform us as soon as the formal proposal and proposed audit is complete. It’s expected to be finished and submitted within the next few days.
KSN will continue to follow this story, their progress on that audit, and keep you updated on air and online.