After the death of a Kansas foster child who was left in a hot car, the Department for Children and Families said it's taking steps to make sure all foster children are safe.
The secretary of the department, Phyllis Gilmore, has launched an investigation into how the baby was placed in this unthinkable situation.
"We just consider that to be such a horrendous, egregious occurrence," said Gilmore. "Something that should not happen to any child."
She said just a week ago the department issued a PSA to all parents reminding them of the dangers of hot cars.
"This child was 10-months old and victimized twice in her young life," she said. It's just hard to even imagine."
Family has identified the baby as Kadillak. Her foster parents 29-year-old Seth Jackson and his 26-year-old partner had four foster children and two adopted children. The couple was sponsored by TFI Family Services, a subcontractor that helps connect Kansas families to children needing a foster home.
"We are putting a moratorium on all future placements of children into TFI homes," Gilmore said. "That doesn't mean we are removing those that are already in the homes unless we find a reason to. We're going to have each home that is currently a TFI home have a face-to-face visit from a social worker as quickly as possible. We plan to make sure all other children are safe."
In the investigation, social workers will look for obvious dangers like weapons in reach of children and medication left on counters.
"You also look for anything you can pick up within the interaction of the family as it might relate to any type of domestic violence that may be occurring or any type of drug usage that might be less obvious in the home."
DCF said all future placements with TFI are suspended pending the outcome of the department's investigation.
KWCH Eyewitness News reached out to TFI, but has not heard back as of Friday evening. We did talk with KVC Health Systems, contractor who uses TFI as a subcontractor. The agency is also investigating this situation.
"We owe it to our children who are placed in our care that whenever there is a serious injury and especially in the case of a death, we have an obligation to look at what happened," said special assistant and general council for KVC, Marilyn Jacobson. "It's a tragic, tragic situation. We'll continue to evaluate it along with Wichita Police Department and it certainly is a sad day that this occurred."
Jacobson said investigations like these are standard practice any time a child is hurt or killed in foster care.