Topeka Legislative auditors Monday suggested several measures for improving the state's privatized foster-care system. Among them:
- Welfare officials should periodically review the files of private contractors to assure needed services for foster children in their care are being recommended and supplied. Quality of services also should be periodically evaluated.
- Social and Rehabilitation Services should make sure that private contractors are given adequate background information about the children placed in their care.
- SRS and the contractors should recruit more foster families.
- SRS should promptly enter the names of confirmed child abusers into the central state registry.
- Private contractors should assure that all employees have received required criminal background checks.
- SRS Secretary Rochelle Chronister should "communicate in writing" to all employees that they are free to openly discuss all problems. Chronister also should explore the possibility of setting up an independent ombudsman to receive and evaluate complaints about foster care.
-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.