Ruling Upholds Mandate to Ensure Rights of Former Foster Youth

(Detroit, MI) — Federal District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds ruled that Michigan’s Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care (YAVFC) program requires ongoing monitoring and enforcement, as mandated in the Modified Settlement Agreement for Dwayne B. v Snyder–a federal class action brought by national advocacy group Children’s Rights. Earlier in the month, the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) sought to exclude the young people of this group from monitoring.

In response to the ruling (PDF), Sara Bartosz, senior attorney for Children’s Rights, released the following statement:

“Children’s Rights appreciates Judge Edmunds’ careful consideration of this matter, and regards today’s ruling a victory for young people aging out of foster care in Michigan.

“While it is laudable that Michigan has established mandated support services up to age 21, the mere creation of the program does not, in and of itself, assure that these young people will consistently receive the benefits. Monitoring and enforcement will ensure that hundreds of children in DHS foster care receive the support necessary to make the transition to independent adult life.”