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Crime and Courts

State To Pay $100K To Settle Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Stephen Koranda
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State Sen. Anthony Hensley

The State of Kansas will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the mother of a four-year-old boy who was beaten to death by his father shortly after leaving the state’s foster care system.

Most of the $412,000 settlement will be paid by TFI Family Services, which was one of the state’s foster care contractors at the time of child’s death in 2013.

Naomi Boone, the deceased child’s mother, charged in the lawsuit that TFI and the Kansas Department for Children and Family Services put the boy in danger by placing him with his father, who had a history of domestic violence.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley is a member of the State Finance Council, which approved the settlement. He says the incident adds to growing concerns about the state’s privatized foster care system.

“This is a perfect example of why I believe I was right in opposing the privatization of our child welfare system,” Hensley says.

Meeting with reporters shortly after approving the settlement, Gov. Sam Brownback called the case “tragic.”

“Just everything about it makes you sad," he said.

The foster care system was privatized more than 20 years ago. But a handful of recent child deaths and other incidents have raised concerns among lawmakers, prompting them to order audits of DCF.