Lawmaker: Kansas should cut ties with foster care contractor
MISSION, Kan. (AP) - The head of a Kansas legislative panel wants to end the state’s contract with its largest foster care contractor, after two former executives were accused of scheming to defraud the organization out of at least $4.7 million.
The federal indictments this month against the Rev. Robert Smith, the former CEO of Saint Francis Ministries, and William Whymark, its former chief information officer, capped a string of problems with the group including children being forced to sleep in offices and workers falsifying documents to show family visits that never happened.
Kansas State Rep. Susan Concannon, a Beloit Republican who chairs the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight, said Wednesday that the group doesn’t deserve to continue partnering with the state.
In Nebraska, an Inspector General report in September 2021 found Saint Francis was failing to meet requirements on caseload ratios, monthly visits with kids, and timely case documentation. The state Department of Health and Human Services ended its contract with Saint Francis in December 2021, about two months after state lawmakers heard testimony about the origins of its contract with DHHS for its child welfare services.
6 News contributed to this report.
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