After the death of a 10-month-old baby, the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) suspended placements with TFI, a subcontracted foster care organization that sponsored the home where the child died. In a press release, DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore stated that they will resume placements with TFI.
“I felt it was in the best interest of children to suspend placements until all homes could be inspected. Our investigation into the death is ongoing, but placements are once again permitted,” Secretary Gilmore said. “While we know this affected our valued foster families, it was never intended to be an insult to foster parents who have opened their homes to care for children in need. It was simply a safety precaution.”
Following the death of the baby, DCF made a directive to assess the safety of all children in homes that have been sponsored by TFI.
Homes with children under the age of seven were inspected within 72-hours and homes with children over the age of seven were inspected within the week.
“During the inspections, St. Francis and KVC social workers addressed with the foster parents any safety concerns and reiterated the importance of removing children from vehicles and refraining from being impaired while serving as a foster parent,” Secretary Gilmore said. “We were pleased to learn that no major issues were discovered. It appears the recent tragedy is a rare exception to an otherwise strong record of foster care child safety in Kansas.”
The Kansas Department of Children and Families have teamed up with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to form a workgroup to assess policies, procedures and practices related the licensing of foster care, placements and inspections.
The feedback and recommendations that come from the collaboration will be available by this fall.