Content warning: The article below concerns rape
"After months of headlines about missing runaways, foster children sleeping in offices and high-profile deaths, this was the last thing the Kansas Department for Children and Families wanted to see.
A 13-year-old in the state’s custody reportedly was raped inside a child welfare office in Olathe. And the young man charged with the assault earlier this month also was in Kansas’ care. Both were at the KVC Behavioral Healthcare office waiting to be placed in an available foster home or facility.
'It’s tragedies like that that folks have been deeply worried was going to happen,' said Benet Magnuson, executive director of Kansas Appleseed, a nonprofit justice center serving vulnerable and excluded Kansans. 'It’s one of these moments: if this doesn’t shake us and get us to take action at the deep level that’s needed, I don’t know what will.'
One criticism of the Kansas system, and many state child welfare systems across the country, is that too many kids come into care. Keep kids with their families whenever possible, advocates often say. And concentrate on making that family stronger."