Wichita Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau has introduced a bill that would strengthen limits on the number of foster children in a home, a platform she says she has carried since her first day in office. 

Senate Bill 315 would limit a home to no more than four foster children or a total of six children if the household already includes adopted or biological children under the age of 16. For example, a couple with no other children could foster four children, but if the same couple had three biological or adopted children, they could only foster three additional children.

It includes an exemption for emergency placements of 30 days of less. 

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Wichita Democrat who authored the bill, said she submitted the bill after multiple people contacted her wondering why some children were placed in large families despite Kansas Department for Children and Families regulations.

She referenced the case of Topeka City Councilman Jonathan Schumm and his wife Allison Schumm, who had 16 children – four biological – in their home at the time they were charged with child abuse. 

“Senate Bill 315 will help children,” she said. 

The Kansas Department for Children and Families submitted neutral testimony on the bill. Kasey Rogg, deputy general counsel for DCF, said the department currently has a four-child limit for foster homes but allows for a wider range of exceptions than SB 315. The current regulations allow more flexibility to keep sibling groups together, he said. 

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