Kansas welfare officials said Friday that they have suspended placing foster children with TFI Family Services, pending investigation of the death Thursday of an infant left in a hot car in Wichita.
TFI formerly contracted with the Kansas Department for Children and Families to provide foster services and continues to have foster homes as a subcontractor to the state's current lead foster care contractors, KVC Behavioral Healthcare of Olathe and St. Francis Community Services of Salina.
DCF officials said they had asked KVC and St. Francis to inspect all foster homes associated with TFI following the death of the 10-month-old girl who had been left unattended in a car for up to two and a half hours, according to early news reports of statements by Wichita police.
The Wichita Eagle reported today that a 29-year-old Wichita man had been taken into custody on suspicion of aggravated endangerment following the incident.
“I am absolutely devastated by this child’s death that should have been prevented,” said DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore in a prepared statement. “DCF is working closely with local law enforcement and the Sedgwick County District Attorney to ensure that justice is served and that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised by the release of confidential information.”
Topeka-based TFI's contract was not renewed in July 2013, according to DCF officials. It is still allowed to sponsor foster homes, but future placements have been suspended pending the outcome of DCF’s investigation of the circumstances of the girl's death.