Lawmakers Want Accountability After Death of Kansas Foster Child
Lawmakers demand accountability after the death of an autistic boy in Kansas state custody. On Tuesday the Kansas Reclector published the results of an investigation into the death of Aaron Carter, a 6-year-old boy with autism.
The report explores a systemic failure to provide medical care to children with autism. Claiming this to be a result of inadequate funding and a shortage of trained behavioral therapists in Kansas.
Call to Action
Senate President Ty Masterson and Rep. Jarrod Ousley, call for the establishment of an Office of the Child Advocate. While the two representative have different views on how the office should operate, the goal remians the same. To provide an investigative authority outside of the foster care system where families can take their concerns.
Masterson describes the event as a tradgey and failure of DCF and Saint Francis, the contracting agency. Masterson is quoted saying,
This highlights exactly why we proposed the creation of an independent Office of Child Advocate that would bring needed accountability to the system.
Ousley would like to also see the state expand Medicaid and roll back punitive limitations on food assistance programs. Unlike most states, Kansas has yet to expand Medicaid to cover the health insurance needs of more low-income families and children. To expand Medicaid Kansas need to invest an estimated $1 billion in federal funding.
The Hope Act
Since the passing of the Hope Act under former Gov. Sam Brownback, access to federal food assistance programs have been limited. These added restriction have increase food instability and caused the number of children entering Kansas foster care to skyrocket. Kansas families are struggling to feed their children.
Currently, Kanas foster care is privatized and operated by nonprofit contractors. “It is heartbreaking to read of the loss of another child’s life here in Kansas,” Ousley said. “Aaron Carter needed access to services and protections.”
In conclusion, children in foster care deserve better. Children like Aaron rely on foster care for safety and shelter, we are heartbroken over the loss of his young life. So if you would like to help kids in foster care, please support Together We Rise here.