A recent investigation into Kansas’s state foster care system revealed that over 70 children are currently unaccounted for. Addressing the outrage from Kansas lawmakers, major foster care system contractors responded that the numbers represented 1 percent of children in foster care, which is considered in line with the national average.
The disappearance of children from the foster care system can arise from many situations. Many run away from foster care homes and return to biological families, friends, or other contacts. Some children stay in contact with their foster homes or eventually return, and others do not. While these activities are not unknown to child welfare agencies and staff anywhere in the country, Kansas lawmakers were particularly troubled by a lack of reporting. Many cases of missing children were not properly reported, creating additional obstacles to locating them and returning them to their homes.