Kan. Governor Laura Kelly directing DCF to investigate Cedric Lofton case
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - There’s more pressure to investigate what went wrong that led to the death of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton. The teen died in September after being held on his stomach for more than 30 minutes inside Sedgwick County’s Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC).
Lofton was taken there after an altercation with police at his foster father’s home. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said the father called police on the advice of a private foster care agency that contracts with the Department for Children and Families (DCF) to investigate the case.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said she’s directing DCF to investigate the case since Lofton was a child in the foster care system.
Although she’s not directly connected with the incident involving Lofton, Carol Brewer, a foster parent since 2010, does advocate for the foster care system to change.
“It’s bigger than the one young man. We’ve got a whole bunch of kids in foster care. We’re just going from blame to blame. That’s stupid. How about let’s go to policy, procedure and get things changed,” Brewer said. “And let’s get some laws changed, and then maybe we can make a big difference.”
Governor Kelly is directing DFC to “thoroughly investigate his case to ensure policy and procedures were properly followed, and to determine if these procedures need to be changed or refined.”
“We are appreciative of the governor and look forward to the result of that investigation to see if there’s information within that investigation that we can utilize to help us better the system,” Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said.
Brewer, who’s also a foster-care instructor, said there are things that can change now.
“Let’s not go replace the person that needs to fix this. Let’s actually make a change in the law,” Brewer said. “Let’s require more from foster parents. Let’s require more training from our officers, implement more trauma-informed classes. Right now, foster parents look at a typical MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) class, 10 weeks long.”
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