I recently sat in a courtroom in Kansas City and listened to a foster mom, a grandfather, and a birth mother all speak with great emotion about the harm done to children they love. They had come to testify before the final hearing in the first federal class-action lawsuit to focus solely on the widespread and often dangerous use of psychotropic medications among youth in foster care.
Children’s Rights In the News
A five-year legal battle over Arizona’s foster-care system has cost taxpayers more than $7 million, public records show. The spending is likely to continue: State child-welfare officials have turned to the U.S. Supreme Court in their bid to nullify the lawsuit’s class-action status. They have hired former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement to make their […]
Ira Lustbader, litigation director for Children’s Rights in New York City and co-counsel in the Juan F. case, said Dorantes has “been transparent about the problems still facing the department and we believe she is committed to putting the full weight of her authority behind fixing them.”
Ira Lustbader, litigation director at Children’s Rights, and Steven Frederick, a partner at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, co-counsels for the plaintiff in the Juan F. lawsuit, released a statement saying they are “encouraged by the areas of progress reflected in this report – especially sustained lower caseloads for DCF front line staff and the […]
The governor of Tennessee says he’ll sign a bill giving faith-based adoption and foster care agencies legal cover to turn away same-sex couples and other prospective parents who offend the agencies’ religious beliefs. Christina Wilson Remlin, Lead Counsel for Children’s Rights, is quoted: “We vehemently oppose any move that would limit the number of safe and loving homes available to children who need and deserve them.”
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced yesterday she will create a new agency that houses child welfare and juvenile justice services at the state level. Kansas has grappled with challenges in its foster care system, getting hit with a class-action lawsuit by the National Center for Youth Law, Children’s Rights and Kansas Appleseed prior to Kelly’s election. In October, Kelly asked to be removed from the suit, stating that she doesn’t actually oversee the state’s foster care system.
In this six-part series on the U.S. foster care system, our litigation director Ira Lustbader speaks on the “highly vulnerable kids in government custody” Children’s Rights protects: “Often, vulnerable poor families don’t have the money or the power to push back against government intervention…Families are ripped apart for poverty and not abuse.”
Executive Director Sandy Santana and Children’s Rights are featured in this article about Dontay Davis, who entered foster care in Texas at age 8 and was separated from his siblings, shuffled through several placements, placed in restrictive group homes, and experienced the hallmarks of the foster care to prison pipeline.
“With the growth of psychotropic medications prescribed for all sorts of mental health issues, we have fallen into a system where it is easier to give a child a pill than to be patient and engage in therapies.”
Missouri will have to overhaul how it monitors children in foster care on psychotropic drugs as part of a settlement agreement finalized this past week.