TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard took action to address allegations of document falsification by employees of St. Francis Ministries (SFM), one of the agency’s foster care case management providers.
“In mid-November, my agency was made aware of instances where an SFM employee falsified documents to show they had visited with families when they had in fact not made those visits,” Howard said. “Given the seriousness of these allegations I instructed my deputy secretary to immediately begin an investigation.”
The now fired employee claimed they visited numerous foster families but the investigation found that in fact, those visits never took place.
The department says the employee claimed they visited 28 children that were living with 11 different foster care providers. That employee had documented 165 contacts that did not actually take place between February and October of this year.
SFM continues its work in Saline County to review each case file to reconcile information from providers with dates of contacts by SFM employees in the case file documentation. The inquiry has not turned up any additional instances of document falsification so far.
In a statement released by Kansas DCF, the case review has shown:
- 69% of placements interviewed expressed seeing a member of the Saint Francis case team on a monthly basis
- 78% of fathers interviewed expressed seeing a member of the Saint Francis case team on a monthly basis
- 86% of mothers interviewed expressed seeing a member of the Saint Francis case team on a monthly basis.
DCF has taken additional steps including requesting information related to methods, sampling figures and findings of St. Francis’ case reviews.
Saint Francis Ministries is also being investigated for mismanaging state money.
According to a whistleblower report, the agency bought 80 thousand dollars worth of Chicago Cubs tickets. Following the report, the agency fired its two top leaders.