Number of missing foster kids decreases in Kansas

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Kansas Department for Children and Families says the number of children who have run away from their foster care placement has decreased significantly since last year.

DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said in August 31, 2017, there were 86 missing or runaway youth. and there were 63 at the end of August of this year. That's a decrease of a 26.7 percent.

“It is exciting to see a decrease in the number of youth missing or running away from placement, as this was one of my primary focuses when I started at the agency,” Secretary Meier-Hummel said. “I am extremely proud of the work of our Missing and Runaway Youth Investigator unit. We will continue to actively look for these youth because even one child missing from placement is one too many. Ensuring their safety is of the utmost importance.” 

Missing in Kansas headlines

According to a news release, while the number of children who have run away from placement continues to fluctuate on a daily basis, DCF has consistently seen lower numbers, as a result of recent agency initiatives.

DCF has recently launched is Missing and Runaway sweeps. During these sweeps, investigators partner with contract staff and local law enforcement to target specific locations to find youth.

The agency has conducted these sweeps in Wichita and Kansas City—two of the most populated areas in the state. To date, there have been 880 recovery events.

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