Lawmakers react to foster kids sleeping in offices

Local

Wichita, Kan. (KSNW) –  Lawmaker reaction was swift when they learned Kansas foster kids have once again been sleeping in offices of agencies that place kids in foster care.

“It should be a wake up call to our agency. It should be a wake up call to the state of Kansas that we have to do better for our children,” said Representative Michael Capps (R) 85th District. “This is our future we are talking about.”

DCF of Kansas has confirmed with the associated press that up to 70 kids have slept in an office of service agencies KVC Health or St. Francis Ministries because there are not enough foster homes to take immediate care of kids in need.

“You have to do more than paint over the systemic problems in DCF,” said Representative Jim Ward (D) Wichita. “Why did the legislature ignore the recommendations of last year’s task force?”

Ward is talking about a task force designed to fix problems at DCF after it went public foster kids had been sleeping in offices because there was not immediate space for them in the system.

Ward and Capps both say more money in the system could help,. The task force recommended more money but it also recommended the need for more foster families in addition to the need to better support foster families that already exist.

“We have a shortage of foster families,” said Rep. Capps. “But the reality is if those foster families are not receiving the support they need from DCF, St. Francis Community Services and KVC, if they are not receiving the support they need, they leave.”

A DCF spokesperson said he is formulating a response to KSN.

KVC and St. Francis did not immediately return a request for a response.

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