Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kansas Foster Care Documented History

Kansas' primary reason to remove a child between the age of 1 and 3 was for truancy

1997, "Our goal is permanency for the child," said Terry D. Moore, director of child welfare training and support services at the KU School of Social Welfare. "Privatization has been a trend around the country on a local level, but Kansas was the first state to implement this program on a statewide level."
One of the long-term goals, Moore said, has been to develop a system to strengthen the families and children needing support.

What has Kansas done since privatization?
            The cost of foster care has grown from $70 Million to over $155 Million
Thousands of children have been removed wrongfully
Children have died, been murdered, or committed suicide under State care
Protective parents have lost custody to the State
Children have been removed on falsified documents by the State
Extremely young children are being placed on drugs not approved by the FDA
            Youthville Foster Contractor does recruitment efforts for their employees to foster and adopt

Kansas keeps children longer in Out of Home Placement         
Region 1, Children spent 15.1 months in out of home placement
Region 2, Children spent 21.7 months in out of home placement
Sedgwick County, Children spent 30.7 months in out of home placement
(over 2 x the National Average)
Kansas, Children spent 19.4 months in out of home placement

Reunification of children in Kansas is only 20% compared to the USA at 51%                       
Region 1, Children spent 15.1 months in out of home placement
Region 2, Children spent 21.7 months in out of home placement
Sedgwick County, Children spent 30.7 months in out of home placement
(over 2 x the National Average)
Kansas, Children spent 19.4 months in out of home placment

Is this the State’s idea of permanency and the best interest of the child? The facts are that the system isn't working, children's lives are being destroyed, the State has discussed, evaluated and done numerous post audits to determine it isn't viable.  
Why are our legislators allowing this to go on year after year?

Testimony from Judge Jean F. Shepherd, District Judge, Seventh Judicial District. Judge Shepherd who said Kansas children were placed in facilities with sexual abusers due to privatization and the system is not working for families or foster families:

Kansas SRS Press Release states that:
  • THOUSANDS of Kansas children have been taken from their homes and communities and inappropriately placed in state custody and foster care over the years.
  • Removing these children from their families and communities and placing them in foster care in many cases is the worst thing for them.
  • "These are the children we have tried to serve in a system not designed to serve them," said Janet Schalansky, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. "These are not children that need protection. These are children who need community services."
  • "This initiative is designed to assist the young people of Kansas for whom we have not yet made the right decisions," Secretary Schalansky said. "We have failed these kids because we tried to address their problems outside of their family and community. We have served them by removing them from their homes and families when the very thing they needed was to be served with their family and within their community." 

Kansas Legislative Post Audit: Audit Number 00PA01.1 Audit Date 2/2000 Audit Abstract For the six-month period generally covered by this audit (January-June 1999), only 16 requirements could be monitored. For those 16 requirements, the Department was in compliance with 1 (6%), and wasn't in compliance with 15 (94%). The Department met the requirements specifically related to investigating reports of abuse and neglect, managing foster care cases, and handling adoptions only 9% of the time. In addition, the Department wasn't in compliance with two important requirements related to ensuring the safety of children, and it continued to be out of compliance with many requirements related to maintaining data and systems that contribute to the good management of the foster care system.

Kansas Legislative Post Audit: Audit Number 00PA0 1.2 Audit Date 8/2000 Audit Abstract For the six-month period generally covered by this audit (July-December 1999), 49 requirements were monitored. Of those, the Department was in compliance with 7 (14%), and wasn't in compliance with 42 (86%).

Kansas Forgotten Children  Source: Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Year
Kansas did not use the Millions of dollars of federal money that was ermarked for increasing opportunities for foster care teens and young adults on programs, but instead used the money to pay private contractors to provide services to children 0-18 years of age.

The Kansas City Star (April 13, 2003): States Seek Best Ways to Keep Children From Abuse, Neglect at Homes
After a wave of child deaths in out-of-home care in Missouri and Kansas, the public-whose confidence in the child welfare system had been shaken-is demanding action and reform. A poll found that 80% of Kansas City area residents think that the states' child welfare systems need improvement and better risk assessment measures.

SRS fears open child-welfare records could lead to lawsuits
Topeka — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' administration said Monday it would keep a tight rein on records involving deaths and serious injuries of children in state custody despite a law that takes effect Thursday designed to open those records.

January 10, 2005, By Dave Ranney — Lawrence Journal-World October 17, 2005 Group homes don’t foster life skills. Many teens leaving foster care not ready to make it on their own. "We need to be sure we're not just putting these kids out on the street," once they cease to be wards of the state, said Gary Brunk, Kansas Action for Children executive director. "Unfortunately, for some, that seems to be the case."

By Dave Ranney, Journal-World, Jan. 10, 2005, System Not Placing Kids Any Faster
The switch wasn't cheap. Before privatization, said former SRS Secretary Robert
Harder, child welfare services cost the state about $70 million. SRS expects to spend more than $145 million in the coming year.

Privatized care barely speeds up process, report finds. Something's wrong with the Kansas's privatized foster care system. Children are hardly being returned home or adopted any more quickly than they were before privatization.

State audit faults SRS Source: Published Friday, July 22, 2005 By Tim Carpenter
The Capital-Journal SRS employees often are told to disregard state and federal regulations.

City of Clearwater, Presentation on Youthville – Foster Homes Karen Lippoldt Foster Care Recruiter/Trainer, representing Youthville addressed the Council. These kids spend their days at Youthville waiting for a home and go from one emergency home to another. For most of the kids schooling is nonexistent.

March 18, 2008, SRS Secretary Don Jordan said the Social Workers were bullied into falsifying records:  "But in Sedgwick County oftentimes we end up writing things because it's what our social workers get bullied by the district attorney's office ( Sedgwick County) into writing. So they really have no belief in what it says."
"The reality comes down to, you send a 25-year-old social worker into a room with a 15-year county ADA who is willing to yell at them, cuss at them, scream at them and threaten them," Jordan said. Don Jordan said, “I am working on our staff that we do our assessments properly and we not get bullied into writing things we don’t believe”

Jun. 08, 2008, Concerns arise over SRS files' validity, BY TIM POTTER, The Wichita Eagle
""For years, some families have complained that court documents filed by
social workers that result in children being removed from the home
have contained false or fabricated information.
 " Now, some say they have proof.
The head of the state's child welfare agency was recorded in a meeting
with a family advocacy group saying that Sedgwick County prosecutors
have "bullied" social workers into putting information they don't
agree with in affidavits....But critics of the state child custody system and some legislators say
the remarks by Don Jordan, secretary of the Kansas Department of
Social and Rehabilitation Services, raise questions about the
affidavits' validity. ""
Child removal inquiry's focus Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008 The Legislative Post Audit Committee last month approved the SRS probe after statements by SRS Secretary Don Jordan that the Sedgwick County prosecutors "bullied" social workers to put things in affidavits that they didn't truly believe. Jordan since has backed off those statements, and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston has denied the accusation. But lawmakers still pushed for an investigation — saying they had heard such allegations even before Jordan's widely publicized statements. Senator Schodorf said she asked for the audit after Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six declined to investigate, citing Jordan’s retraction of his statements.

August 2009 Audit completed into comments made by SRS Don Jordan: Legislative Post Audit found over 50% of Wichita  Social Workers had been unduly  “pressured” to alter facts of a case which is the equivalent of falsified records. The report also showed that at least one Social Worker in each county had been “pressured” to alter facts of a case.

Social workers pressured Posted: August 29, 2009, The situation has been most prevalent in Wichita, according to the audit survey, with at least half of respondents absorbing pressure from an attorney to misrepresent facts to an extent the social worker felt the report distorted a child's circumstances. Instances of bullying were lower -- six percent -- among SRS social workers serving northeast Kansas

Fines proposed for foster care contractors
By Dave Ranney KHI News Service Dec. 1, 2009
“We have the laws, but I see them being ignored,” said Rep. Bill Otto, R-LeRoy. “Totally ignored.”
“There needs to be some teeth put in the law,” Otto said during the committee’s meeting Tuesday. He proposed fining contractors $10,000 for each infraction."

Dec. 1, 2009, Kansas Attorney Jean Ann Uvodich testified before legislators, “they say whatever they need to do to keep the children where they want them” and how a 23 year old worker just out of college told a mother that “one of the reasons that she should not have her children is because she won’t clean up after her husband”.

TOPEKA, Kan. Dec. 2, 2009 (WIBW) – The State Joint Committee on Children’s issues finished the second day of its two-day hearings on foster care and adoption Tuesday.
The committee heard testimonies from families whose children were taken and placed in foster homes on Monday. The families spoke of abuse by law enforcement and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) when their children were taken from their homes; and some of the families spoke of abuse afflicted on their children while in foster care.

Kansas WatchDog, By Earl Glynn on December 4, 2009,
Compelling stories from parents and grandparents about problems with placement and removal of children

Privatized foster care draws critics, March 15, 2010, BY DAVID KLEPPER, Eagle Topeka bureau, TOPEKAKansas in 1996 became the first state to privatize its foster care system. The goal? Make the system more responsive to the needs of vulnerable children. "This is a very dysfunctional system," said Rep. Mike Kiegerl, R-Olathe, who called for the hearings after receiving dozens of complaints about Kansas foster care. "Some of the things we've heard are just inexcusable."

On Their Own: Helping homeless youth, Nov. 16, 2010, By Melody Pettit KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, November 16, 2010, At 18, he aged out of the foster-care system and joined Job Corp. He's only recently been homeless; sleeping behind dumpsters, in parks and on a good night, a cheap motel. That's where he found the phone number of the Street Outreach hotline. "I'm just really disappointed in where my life is right now," said the 19-year old.
They pick him up, give him a bag of supplies, pack up the van and hit the streets. They plan to drop him off at one of the few adult homeless shelters.
"I'm dreading being with homeless people. They scare me," the 19-year old said.
But at the last minute he backs out, the long line of homeless people intimidates him. He doesn't want to go.
"This whole situation is scary," he said. So they sit outside with the 19-year old, waiting, exhausting all options trying to find him a safe place to sleep.
"There are only so many beds, often we have no where to put these kids. The lack of resources is the most frustrating thing," said another Street Outreach worker.
There are no shelters in Wichita specifically for kids between 17 and 21 years old.
"The hardest thing is looking at a youth in the face and say ""Sorry there are no more options, enjoy sleeping under the bridge,"" Klaver said.
Adult shelters are often full and can be dangerous for youth. The director of SOS says homeless adults sometimes abuse youth and use them for drugs and sex, but the team is left with little choice.
"There's just no place for them to go," said Rehmert,0,7219398.htmlstory
Jan. 4, 2010, Kansas families and advocates spoke before the South Central Delegation:
Mother Of Child That Committed Suicide While In Custody Of The State Spoke Before Kansas

Marlene Jones Spoke Before Legislators Regarding Wrongful Removal Of Children

Donna Roberts Spoke Before Legislators Regarding The Protective Parent Reform Act

Juanita Blackmon Justice Keepers Addressing Corruption In Sedgwick County

"In Kansas," said Sen. Jeff Colyer, a physician and Overland Park Republican, "there have been no attempts at trying to clean up waste, fraud and abuse issues."
Colyer pointed to a series of federal audits revealing the state misused Medicaid financing in mental health, substance abuse and juvenile justice programs going back to 2003, the year Sebelius took office as governor.
The Legislature approved a settlement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to repay $37.5 million in ill-gotten Medicaid funds."


Between 2008-2009

Aug 2009, Report From KU School Of Social Welfare, Medicaid Children's Focused Study: ""In Kansas in SFY2008, 329 unique children 0 to 3 years old received a psychotropic prescription; 128 received antipsychotics and 69 children were prescribed antidepressants.

Sept. 27, 2010
Kansas Health Institute, KU study questions widespread use of psychotropics for children
"The KU study showed that more than 150 children were taking five or more psychotropic medications. Some were taking as many as seven.

"Dr. Pam Shaw, a pediatrics professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said she recently saw a young patient who had gained more than 40 pounds in six months after being put on Risperdal. Another patient, a teenage boy, began to develop breasts
Both patients, she said, are now at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes."

Sept 27, 2010
An important exemption
In 2002, Statute 39-7, 121b, which bars state officials from prior review or any other restrictions on mental health drugs for adults and children on Medicaid or HealthWave.

This statute prevents KHPA from employing pharmacy management tools that could identify excessively high doses or the combination of multiple drugs, prevent the inappropriate dispensation of medications to young children and alert pharmacists and prescribers that the therapy prescribed may be inappropriate.
States' leaders lament cost of Medicaid drugs, Jan 16, 2011
Marilyn Cook, Comcare executive director, said all three doctors would not comment on their prescription-writing records. Cook also cautioned that the state's data might be misleading because it could include prescriptions written by each doctor's assistants, but attributed to the three physicians by pharmacies.
Obviously the DRUGGING of Children isn't important to the Legislature
Subsequent proposals from the health policy authority to repeal or modify the law have been opposed by the mental health and drug lobby and rejected by the Legislature

Kansas City Children's Mercy Hospital
Children's Mercy leads juvenile drug study


<marquee scrollamount="1" loop="infinite" width="100%" bgcolor="#33ff00">Kansas' primary reason to remove a child between the age of 1 and 3 was for truancy</marquee>

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