TOPEKA – In response to today’s information made public in Sedgwick County court, regarding the death of the 10-month-old baby, Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore offers the following statement:
“Should the allegations prove to be true, I am appalled that a precious, helpless child suffered such an unthinkable death while her foster parent was allegedly using drugs. We expect parents to protect and care for their children. We expect even more of our foster parents. They have a duty to put the children in their care before themselves always and provide a loving, safe environment. This incident is a rare exception to the otherwise strong record of foster care safety in Kansas. Drug use is not tolerated among our foster parents.”
DCF continues its investigation into the tragedy. Foster homes sponsored by TFI are in the process of being inspected. Presently, no serious concerns have been discovered. We anticipate lifting the moratorium on placements with TFI soon, upon the completion of the inspections if no issues arise. TFI is licensed to sponsor 621 foster homes in Kansas. TFI was a former foster care contractor. Its contract with DCF was not renewed in 2013. It serves as a subcontractor of foster care services to St. Francis and KVC.
Since 2001, there have been two fatalities in foster care as a result of maltreatment. The last death by maltreatment in foster care was in 2006.