"According to the [Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope], there were 7,324 Kansas kids in foster care in January — about 2,000 more compared to five years ago.
'That’s caused our system to really be beyond capacity and that’s created a whole lot of other challenges for kids and the system,' said Michael Pahr, public policy director for Kansas Appleseed, an organization that belongs to the coalition.
The discussion centered around causes and solutions. Pahr said while there has been a rise in reports of potential abuse or neglect, the rate of family preservation service referrals has stayed about the same, so devoting more resources to preservation could stymie the growing utilization of foster care.
He also noted that the number of children served by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families has dropped dramatically. In July 2010, more than 25,000 kids received TANF whereas 7,516 received it in July 2017. Pahr said research has shown a causal connection with child welfare removals."