Size of Kansas foster care population up 18 percent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The size of Kansas’ foster care population has swelled 18 percent over the past six years, and child welfare advocates blame high turnover among caseworkers, parental drug addiction and cuts to programs that help poor families.

“I really think something needs to be done,” said Diana Frederick, executive director of Douglas County CASA, the agency that provides volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates to work with abused and neglected children in state custody. “Things are enough of a concern that we need to acknowledge that there is a problem and we need to work together to find a solution.”

Children are usually removed from their homes because of neglect, and leave the foster care system when they rejoin their families, are adopted or reach age 18. State data shows that the 2009 fiscal year is the last time more children were exiting the system each month, 312 on average, than were entering, 260 on average. Since then, the numbers have gradually flipped, with 317 children entering the system on average each month in FY 2015, which ended June 30, and 286 leaving the system.

Over the six-year span, the foster care monthly average jumped to 6,257 children in fiscal year 2015 from 5,317 in 2009, state figures show.

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Fired Miami social worker gets 1 1/2 years in prison for extorting families of refugee children

As a newly hired employee for a Miami social services agency, Leslie Rubero Padilla’s job was to reunite unaccompanied refugee children with their parents or legal guardians in the United States.

She was supposed to charge the families only for transportation, such as airfare. But authorities say Rubero shook down more than a dozen of them by insisting they had to send her additional money or the reunification with their children would be delayed — or, worse, they would be deported back to their native country in Central America.

“This case is just so shocking because this defendant preyed on the most vulnerable people,” federal prosecutor Daniel Bernstein said at Rubero’s sentencing hearing on Friday. “Why is it so offensive? She calculated that these are people I can rip off because they are not going to report it.”

The prosecutor asked U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles to send Rubero, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud in September, to prison for four years. Bernstein pointed out that she not only exploited the poor parents and guardians for a total of $11,100, but also noted: “She had legal custody of their children.”

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Parents say CPS took their 3 kids away because they wanted to visit dying relative

- “What CPS is doing to these parents is wrong,” said attorney Julie Ketterman.

The Giwa’s turned to FOX 26 last May after their then 19-month-old son Ali was taken into protective custody by CPS.

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Parents say CPS took their 3 kids away because they wanted to visit dying relative

CPS accused the parents of medical neglect even though doctors could not explain why he was failing to thrive like his twin sister.

“They’ve run test,  after test, after test, and there’s nothing,” Ketterman said.

In June, Ali was returned home to his parents and siblings, but CPS had two conditions.

One, they told the parents not to talk to the media.

“I’m not scared. I will do this again, and again, and again,” Ali’s mom Kathy Giwa said.

CPS also ordered the parents to undergo yet another round of psychological testing.

“By a CPS contractor because they know that it’s going to come back saying what they want it to say,” said Ketterman.

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Adoptive father sentenced 100 years for child sex abuse

An Oklahoma City man was sentenced to 100 years in prison Thursday for over 20 counts of child sex abuse.

The District Attorney's Office requested that Robert Allen Shirley, 54, be sentenced to 200 years, but District Judge Lori Walkley lowered the sentenced to 100 years, said Shirley's defense attorney Elton Jenkins on Friday.

Shirley was charged with 26 counts of child sex abuse and two counts of enabling child abuse in 2013 after several children were forensically interviewed at the Mary Abbott Children's House.

According to an affidavit filed with the charges, Shirley’s wife reported that her four children said they were sexually molested by Shirley, the children's adoptive father, records show.

The children, two females and two males, ranged in age from eight to 11. The abuse began sometime in 2011 beginning with the oldest female, the affidavit states.

The siblings were forced to shower together, touch each other inappropriately and Shirley engaged in inappropriate sexual acts with them, the document said.

All of the incidents occurred in Shirley’s Oklahoma City home, located in Cleveland County, the affidavit shows.

 

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Report released in death of Tulsa foster child

5406a85a57a68.image[1]BROKEN ARROW — A 3-year-old foster child who died of suspected child abuse in August was not removed from the home of his foster parents after a DHS worker smelled marijuana during a visit, according to a report released Friday.

The boy, Andrew Prior, died at a Tulsa hospital Aug. 31 from a head injury he received four days earlier. His foster parents, Mallory Krajian and Peter Krajian of Broken Arrow, have been charged with first-degree murder in his death.

Report released in death of Tulsa foster child

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