A 2018 court decision is good news for the 12,000 children in permanent foster care in Texas. In October, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld major parts of an earlier ruling by a district court judge finding that the children in the care of the state’s broken, unconstitutional system “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.” Children’s Rights and Texas co-counsel, Yetter Coleman LLP and Haynes and Boone LLP, brought the suit in 2015.
The appeals court agreed that the state was deliberately indifferent to the systemic flaws threatening the safety of children, and that while in the child welfare system many children experience concrete harm.
“This ruling gives hope that the state of Texas will finally invest the resources it needs to properly serve the most vulnerable children in its care,” said co-counsel Paul Yetter.
With the court-ordered reforms, the state will increase the number of caseworkers overall while reducing their exorbitantly high caseloads. The state will also be required to improve its woefully deficient investigations practices and take the actions necessary to keep kids safe.