Kansas lawmakers advancing bill for oversight of foster care

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would increase their oversight of the state’s privatized foster care system and the contractors running it.

The House gave first-round approval to the measure Friday on a voice vote. Members planned to take another vote to determine whether the proposal goes to the Senate.

The bill would create an 18-member task force to collect data from the state Department for Children and Families on the foster care system and its contractors and to make recommendations for improvement.

Recent state audits have said the department and contractors weren’t collecting enough documentation or data to oversee the program and ensure children were placed in safe and appropriate homes. Another audit said some parts of the state didn’t have enough foster homes.