TOPEKA, Kan. -- A Fox 4 Problem Solvers investigation into the death of Adrian Jones raised concerns about several aspects of the Kansas Division of Children and Families -- specifically, how DCF failed to intervene to protect the little boy.
One failure is what DCF told the Kansas Child Death Review Board about its involvement with the Jones family.
This week, Fox 4's Shannon O'Brien presented the investigation's findings to the board to show board members the proof Fox 4 uncovered that DCF gave members inaccurate and incomplete information in Adrian's case.
The board is a citizens review panel, responsible for ensuring that DCF is doing its job, but without accurate information, the board can't be effective.
In the DCF's report, the agency said it received 19 reports about the Jones family. Their records actually show 28. The DCF said five of those reports were assessed but not investigated. The truth is there were seven assessments.
The DCF reported 11 abuse or neglect investigations, but their own records show there were actually 13.
"There are grave omissions in my opinion," former DCF Deputy Director Dianne Keech said.
Keech, who is also a former member of the Kansas Child Death Review Board, said not only did DCF deceive the board about the number of reports, but the agency misrepresented the incidents.
"There were intakes omitted, facts omitted. Some of the intakes were combined when they actually had different responses," she said.
After Adrian Jones died in November 2015, the DCF gave the child death review board a seven-page summary about its involvement with his family.
During Fox 4's investigation, Keech did the same type of analysis of state records and came up with a 13-page summary. There could have been more, but DCF didn't give Fox 4 all of its records.
Fox 4's Shannon O'Brien wrapped up her presentation with a few requests for the Child Death Review Board.
Every year, the board sends a list of recommendations to the DCF. Fox 4 wants those recommendations to be pubic with follow up to let the public know if the DCF is implementing them.
With 50 cases a month, it would be difficult for the board to examine the DCF files on all of them. Adrian's alone was almost 2,000 pages. So Fox 4 asked for a separate review team set up to physically examine the DCF files of children who die to ensure the agency is telling the whole story and complying with state law.
"They have a duty to ensure that DCF is doing their job," Keech said.
Right now, the Child Death Review Board does not have any teeth. Members review child deaths and make recommendations to the DCF, but it's up to the agency whether to follow those recommendations.
Some of what Fox 4 is asking to hold the DCF accountable may take legislative action, which we are also pursuing with several Kansas lawmakers.