Lawmaker: State should cut ties with foster care contractor

A Kansas legislator wants to end the state's contract with its largest foster care contractor, Saint Francis Ministries, after two former executives were indicted.

By

State News

November 16, 2022 - 1:58 PM

The Kansas State Capitol Building

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 visits with families that never took place.

“I am horrified at the level of devious behavior by Saint Francis,” state Rep. Susan Concannon, a Beloit Republican and the chair of the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight, said before a meeting Wednesday.

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