KS must re-evaluate foster care



June 13, 2018 - 11:00 PM

An abused or neglected child, their few belongings likely in grocery bags, with no home to go to is heart-wrenching. Many of these children are difficult to place because they have complex needs, including psychiatric care. Our state is failing our most vulnerable, and the failures are tragically predictable for anyone closely following the foster care system in Kansas over the past few years.

Child welfare advocates have expressed alarm for many years about a dropping number of psychiatric care beds for foster children in spite of increasing need.

Two psychiatric residential treatment facilities operate in Topeka: Pathways Family Services and Florence Crittenton. These organizations also offer emergency care for children not in need of psychiatric residential placement. They do difficult work with vulnerable children and are worthy of support. Both have shared concerns, alongside other such facilities across the state, about their ability to care for children in need in the midst of cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates.

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