foster care

Parents of kids who are in the Kansas foster care system described it Saturday as chaotic, deceptive and traumatizing to children.

About two dozen people rallied on the steps of the statehouse in Topeka, calling on lawmakers to bring more accountability to the Kansas Department for Children and Families, an agency long under fire for losing kids and housing them in offices.

Radio Readers BookByte: A Word from the Author Part I

Sep 18, 2019
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My name is Brandon Hobson and I’m the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, one of the novels that is part of the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club’s 2019 Fall Read.

Where the Dead Sit Talking is about a 15-year-old Cherokee boy named Sequoyah who is placed in foster care. He is literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse. 

Displaced, Dislocated & Disassociated

Sep 13, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, welcome to High Plains Public Radio, this is Freddy Gipp, I’m an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and my indian name is “T’sa(N) T’hoop Ah(N)”, meaning Lead Horse in the Kiowa language.

As we previously discussed in our last introduction, “Where The Dead Sit Talking”,  focuses on a young Native American boy named Sequoyah, as we join him through the perils of a broken foster care system, meandering through different homes, vying for any sense of identity and belonging.

What Haunts Me

Sep 10, 2019
Georgios Jakovidis

Hello. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kan., here to talk about Brandon Hobson’s Where the Dead Sit Talking.

My problem is: I don’t really know what to say. It’s not the fault of the novel, not by any means. It’s well-crafted, beautifully written. But for me, it’s one of those books that as I turned the final page I thought: 'huh: the end. What to make of this? ' Yet, it’s also one of those books that haunts me, long after I thought I had finished with it. Given its title, Where the Dead Sit Talking, to feel haunted perhaps makes a kind of sense.

Displacement, Identity & Resilience

Sep 9, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, welcome to High Plains Public Radio, this is Freddy Gipp, I’m an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and my indian name is “T’sa(N) T’hoop Ah(N)”, meaning Lead Horse in the Kiowa language.

I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, where I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism.

A federal appeals court has ordered Texas to make significant changes to improve its foster care system.

A three-judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Monday in the long-running class action lawsuit that revolved around the treatment of children in permanent managing conservatorship. These are children who are neither reunited with their biological families nor adopted out of the system. Instead, they remain in the state’s custody until they age out of foster care.  

This Sunday, May 5th, come to Starlight Ranch in Amarillo for a FREE SHOW with renowned Texas troubadours Radney Foster & Kyle Hutton as they present A Place to Stay: Tour for Foster Awareness.

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly announced Thursday that she’s replacing the head of the state’s embattled child welfare agency, and at the same time putting on hold new grants for private contractors to manage foster care and family preservation services.

Schreiver AFB

A Federal appeals court has upheld much of Federal Judge Janice Jack’s ruling that Texas must do better when it comes to taking care of the state’s 10,000 foster care kids.

Jack was compelled to force the State of Texas to comply after Texas showed little sign that it was interested in repairing the state’s beleaguered foster care system.

Public Domain via Pixabay

Oklahoma’s foster care system has been beleaguered by high rates of abuse and neglect for years.

And, as The Tulsa World reports, much of that child abuse is due to Oklahoma’s high levels of meth addiction, with the state’s opioid addiction struggles adding to the problem in recent years.

af.mil

It appears that the Texas foster care system still needs a good deal of work, despite a federal order to overhaul the system.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, last month 50 foster children were forced to sleep in Child Protective Services offices for at least two consecutive nights as they awaited placement.

A polarizing debate over the role of faith-based adoption organizations, and their ability to exclude same-sex couples, has tangled an update of Kansas adoption and foster care laws.

A bill needed to revise the rules passed the House without a dissenting vote in late February. But it drew opposition in the Senate this week when a controversial amendment was added.

The new head of Kansas’ troubled child welfare agency got a unanimous vote of confidence from a legislative committee Friday.

Even the agency's staunchest critics think Gina Meier-Hummel will sail through a confirmation vote from the full Senate to head the Department for Children and Families.

“I can’t imagine that she will” face any serious opposition, said Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat running for governor, and one of several lawmakers who called for the ouster of Meier-Hummel’s predecessor, former DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore.

A call sets it off.

One of Kansas’ two foster care contractors learns another child has landed in state custody. It has four hours to pick the kid up.

CC0 Creative Commons

Oklahoma has had the largest increase in foster homes in the nation over the past five years, according to a new study.

As KFOR reports, the study—the first of its kind—was initiated to investigate the increasing number of foster kids in America each year and the concurrent decrease in foster homes.

Members of a legislative task force charged with fixing problems in the Kansas foster care system resumed their discussion of possible solutions on Tuesday.

The new secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families has come in promising a thorough review of the agency, staffing changes and more accountability following allegations and outrage about problems in the state’s foster care system.

The well-being of children in her care is Gina Meier-Hummel’s highest priority.

That is the consensus on the new secretary for the Kansas Department for Children and Families among people who have worked with her. And it’s why stakeholders in the state’s child welfare system are hopeful that her appointment by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer signals a change of direction for the embattled agency.

Stephen Koranda

Over the last year, more than 100 Kansas kids placed in the foster care system had to spend the night in offices instead of homes.  Kids slept on couches or makeshift beds in the offices of the private organizations that handle foster care placement. 
 
Lawmakers and child advocates heard about the issue during a meeting of a foster care task force in Topeka. Republican Representative Linda Gallagher is one of the group’s members.

Texas Looks To Improve Troubled Foster Care System

Sep 7, 2017
CCO Creative Commons

A number of laws took effect earlier this month meant to improve Texas’s child welfare system.

As KUT reports, the state’s foster care system was deemed unconstitutional and “broken” by a U.S. District Judge in Dec. 2015, following several reports about Texas kids dying from neglect and abuse while in foster care.

That led to a series of bills aimed at overhauling the system, including Senate Bill 11, which establishes a model that increasingly privatizes the foster care system.

Aubri Thompson has already had her share of challenges by age 21: She left the foster care system without a designated caregiver, lived without a steady home for more than a year and became a single parent before finishing college.

Thompson lived in the Kansas foster care system from age 14, when she was reported as a runaway, until she “aged out” at 18. During that time, she moved 21 times, staying in foster homes, group homes and mental health treatment facilities.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday signed a bill creating a task force to examine the Kansas foster care system.

The number of children in the Kansas foster care system has set records in recent years, passing 7,100 in April. The death of an abused boy in Kansas City, Kansas, also raised concerns about whether the system was protecting children. 

MEG WINGERTER / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997 after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — topping 7,100 in April — and lawmakers approved the creation of a task force to examine the system. The Kansas News Service investigated problems in the foster care system and possible solutions. This is the fifth story in a series.

By Meg Wingerter

Kansas House and Senate negotiators have come up with an amended foster care task force bill but are working against the legislative clock to get it passed.

A few years ago, Olathe attorney Shanelle Dupree noticed a pattern in the foster care cases she handled: Most parents had little understanding of the system or what to do if they wanted their children back.

So she started a class to try to change that. Once a month, parents who have a child in foster care can meet in a Johnson County family law courtroom to learn more about the basics of the child welfare system. Most parents are referred by the courts as part of the plan to prove they can take care of their children, Dupree said.

Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

As the Texas Panhandle faces a rising number of foster children without homes, the Texas Legislature Monday passed a law that would turn away some prospective parents for religious reasons.

As ABC 7 Amarillo reports, there is a growing need for foster homes in the Texas Panhandle.

Kansas lawmakers have struggled since 2015 on whether to investigate alleged discrimination against same-sex couples in the state’s foster care and adoption system.

Now some think they’ve hit on an answer: Ask people working in the foster care system if they think the issue needs a deeper look.

Rep. Jarrod Ousley, a Merriam Democrat, has asked the Legislative Post Audit Division to conduct a survey about potential bias against same-sex couples in child placement decisions.

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997 after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — by a third in just the last five years — and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes. The Kansas News Service investigated problems in the system and possible solutions. This is the first story in a series.

The Kansas House gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill creating a task force that will recommend improvements to the foster care system.

The House Children and Seniors Committee passed the bill in March after collecting testimony from foster parents, law enforcement officials and child welfare advocates. Many of those who testified expressed concerns about social worker caseloads and lack of coordination in the system. 

Elizabeth Brockway / Daily Beast

A new Texas bill could allow adoption agencies to reject potential new parents based on their religion or sexual orientation, CNN reports.

Lawmakers insist their bill does not amount to discrimination, however, because the measure requires that the rejected applicants be given choices from other agencies than the one that rejected them.

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