Size of Kansas foster care population up 18 percent

The size of Kansas’ foster care population has swelled 18 percent over six years.

Child welfare advocates are blaming high turnover among caseworkers, parental drug addiction and cuts to programs that help poor families.

Douglas County CASA executive director Diana Frederick says “something needs to be done.” Her agency provides volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates to work with abused and neglected children in state custody. She says the problem is so bad that her office has seen a child with five case managers in eight months.

State data shows that the 2009 fiscal year is the last time more children were exiting the system each month than were entering. The foster care monthly average jumped to 6,257 children in fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30, from 5,317 in 2009.