More Than 70 Kids Missing From Kansas' Foster Care System

Oct 11, 2017

Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore was apparently not aware of three sisters' disappearances before a newspaper report.
Credit Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

Seventy-four children are missing from Kansas’ privatized foster care system.

Thirty-eight of the missing children were under the supervision of KVC Kansas, the contractor managing cases in eastern Kansas. Thirty-six more are missing from among Saint Francis Community Service’s caseload in the western part of the state.

The Kansas City Star first reported Tuesday that three sisters, who had been in the care of their great aunt in Tonganoxie, haven’t been seen since late August.

The head of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Phyllis Gilmore, was apparently not aware of the girls’ disappearance before the newspaper report. That drew the ire of Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka at a meeting of the Child Welfare Task Force.

“They are wards of the state and [Gilmore] is in charge of that agency, so the fact that she knew nothing about these missing girls is of great concern to me," Kelly said.

Gilmore says tracking children in foster care is just one of her department’s responsibilities. “We’re talking about 7,000 children, and we’re talking about one secretary," she said.

The task force suggested members could ask for monthly reports on the status of missing foster care kids.