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Some foster homes to be inspected following child's death

7/25/2014

Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

TOPEKA - Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said she is deeply saddened and outraged by the death of a 10-month old child who was in foster care.

Gilmore has launched a thorough investigation into how the baby was placed in harm's way. According to Wichita Police, the baby died after being left in a hot vehicle for more than two hours.

"I am absolutely devastated by this child's death that should have been prevented," Gilmore said. "DCF is working closely with local law enforcement and the Sedgwick County District Attorney to ensure that justice is served and that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised by the release of confidential information."

In the meantime, DCF's current foster care contractors, KVC and St. Francis, have been instructed to inspect all foster homes associated with TFI. TFI is a former contractor, but its contract was not renewed in July 2013. It still is allowed to sponsor KDHE-licensed foster homes. All future placements with TFI have been suspended, pending the outcome of DCF's investigation into this matter.

"I want to assure Kansans that we are doing everything we can to uphold our agency's mission to protect children. Children in need of care deserve safe, loving homes," Gilmore said.