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Republican Legislators Block State Audit Of Foster Care System

Stephen Koranda
Democratic Rep. Jim Ward, right, speaks to Republican Rep. John Barker before the meeting.

Republican legislators blocked a state audit of Kansas' foster care system even though several acknowledged that they have ongoing concerns about how well it protects abused and neglected children.

GOP members of the committee that oversees the work of state auditors were skeptical that the review would provide useful information.

The committee voted 5-4 against initiating the audit. All of the no votes came from Republicans who noted that other reviews of the system already are planned.

Democratic Reps. Jim Ward, of Wichita, and Ed Trimmer, of Winfield, requested that auditors examine whether the department's procedures adequately protect abused and neglected children, both when they are removed from troubled homes and when they are reunited with their families. They also sought to examine whether contractors hired by the department have the resources to provide sufficient services.

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