A foster home in Brooklyn Center, Minn. is officially closed for good following a recent tragedy involving a 6-year-old girl being found dead in her bedroom, with a jump rope tied around her neck.
Details on a recently concluded investigation into the foster provider were released in a 20-page report on Friday. What they found is best described as a systematic failure of oversight.
The foster home has been closed effective immediately and the private company handling oversight is facing a similar fate. But, the investigation did not find evidence of neglect or mistreatment of children.
The "failure to regulate" is what investigators say put the children at risk, and in the case Kendrea Johnson, played a role in her death.
"We may never know what happened and what was going through the mind of that six-year-old," Inspector General Jerry Kerber, Minnesota Department of Human Services, said.
The final moments of Kendrea's life remain a mystery. Law enforcement say all signs point to suicide or possibly an accident. But as questions linger, Kerber said one thing is no longer in doubt -- "There was an inadequate level of supervision that contributed to this event."
The shocking event triggered a three-month state investigation of both the foster home and the company responsible for oversight. Multiple failures including allegations of foster parents allowing their children to smoke cigarettes and pot were never reported, the report found.
"It's important that that information is shared," Kerber said. "And in this instance, that information was not shared on multiple occasions."
As a result, the license for the foster home has been permanently revoked. The license of the company tasked with oversight, Family Alternatives, has also been revoked pending appeal.
Family Alternatives declined to comment, but did confirm that they plan to appeal – which they have 10 days to do. In the meantime, they are allowed to operate and currently handle oversight for 62 foster placements.
As for the state, they say this is the first step towards fixing a clear problem.