Teen abused in Kansas foster home. Now he is suing the state’s largest contractor

Teen abused in Kansas foster home. Now he is suing the state’s largest contractor

A Kansas child welfare contractor is accused of keeping a teenage girl in an unsafe home where she was molested in 2017, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Wyandotte County District Court.

The lawsuit, filed on February 15 by the now 22-year-old woman, alleges that at age 16 she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and then abused by her foster parents, a 37-year-old man hired to provide foster care services. KVC Behavioral Healthcare Inc, The state’s largest foster care provider.

The agency placed him with foster parents in November 2016. In June of the following year, the foster parent called the KVC and admitted that he had sexually abused the teen, but it took five months for state officials to revoke his foster care license, according to the lawsuit.

The foster parents “behaved sexually inappropriately toward female children on multiple occasions,” the lawsuit states. A criminal charge filed against the man in Wyandotte County in 2018 was later dropped.

The Star does not typically name sexual assault victims without their permission. It is not naming the man because he is not currently charged with a crime.

KVC spokeswoman Jenny Kutz said the foster care provider is aware of the lawsuit but does not comment on ongoing litigation.

“I can tell you that as a nonprofit child and family-serving agency, our highest priority is the safety and well-being of every child we serve,” she said in an email.

This is the second case in the past two weeks in which KVC is accused of contributing to harm by placing a child in an unnecessary foster home.

In the former case, a child Suffered a serious head injury in 2018 at a KVC foster home, Feb. 6, according to the lawsuit. The complaint of the child’s family was brought by the KVC Month-old baby in a “dangerously overcrowded” foster home And No security plan has failed to provide service.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in both cases did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

‘Severe lack of judgment’

The 37-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, man applied for a foster care license sponsored by KVC. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) February 15 approved his application by April 2014, according to the suit.

The KVC monitored his license for the next three years. But during that time, KVC learned that he had repeatedly acted in an inappropriate, sexual manner and used “a severe lack of judgment toward female children,” the lawsuit said.

The state contractor placed a 16-year-old girl in the care of her Wyandotte County foster home on November 21, 2016.

He sexually assaulted her multiple times at various locations around Kansas City, Kansas. Then, according to the lawsuit, he sexually assaulted her inside the foster home on June 15, 2017.

The accused called a KVC employee and confessed to sexually assaulting the girl four days later.

DCF revoked her license on November 26, 2017, after discovering she had committed “acts of a sexual nature toward a foster youth placed in her home.”

According to child welfare attorney Lori Burns-Buckloo, there are legal processes for revoking a foster parent’s license, and a person can appeal or choose to take the case to court.

“But I would be very concerned if I heard that there are foster children in that home because due process is being followed,” she said.

It is unclear why his license was not revoked earlier and whether he still has foster children. A DCF spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the case.

A 2018 criminal case in Wyandotte County charges the foster parents with misdemeanor sexual battery. The charges were dismissed shortly after. He cannot be found on any sex offender registry.

The teenager is now a 22-year-old woman who no longer lives in Kansas City, Kansas. She says the abuse left her with trauma that she is still trying to understand through therapy. He did not recognize the severity of the torture. As a teenager, he was already subjected to “extreme housing disruption… and other factors beyond that [her] control.”

Her lawsuit is seeking $75,000 in damages from the foster care provider.


Barnes-Bucklew filed a class action lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of several foster care children who were shuttled from foster home to foster home and needed mental health services.

The complaint was filed in federal court Some children were treated so badly in foster care That they have run away from their foster home or are suffering from mental illness. In some cases, children were allegedly trafficked for sex, sexually abused in foster homes or in one instance raped inside the KVC child welfare office.

lack of Foster homes even lead some children to sleep in welfare offices.

“I generally have concerns about whether contractors are being held sufficiently accountable by the state,” Burns-Bucklew said.

Kansas was the first in the nation to privatize its foster care system, allowing various providers like KVC Kansas to compete with other agencies for state contracts.

KVC Kansas spokeswoman Jenny Kutz explained in an earlier interview that the group has come a long way since the “phenomenal increase” in foster children between 2017 and 2019 in prioritizing mental health services and recruiting foster families.

“Due to a number of factors, including state policy changes and juvenile justice reform, a record number of children in Kansas were in foster care,” Kutz said at the time.

But the lack of foster homes has long been a problem in Kansas, according to Barnes-Buckloo.

“There haven’t been enough foster homes in Kansas for over a decade,” she said.

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