“With the judge’s approval and clear federal court enforceability, Florida DCF now has a real opportunity to revamp a failing foster care system and transform the lives of vulnerable children,” said Ira Lustbader, litigation director at Children’s Rights.
Children’s Rights In the News
“These children are precious,” writes the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board. “It’s imperative that the state prioritize the well-being of its children over the potential complexity of a difficult task.”
“Kids who are in poverty experience tremendous toxic stress and the threat of being separated from your parents because of that poverty adds to that stress,” said Sandy Santana, Executive Director of Children’s Rights.
“The fact that Missouri will be implementing a systemic solution … will send a clear message to other states with the same problem to take action and provide a road map for how credibly to fix broken systems,” said Samantha Bartosz, deputy director of litigation for Children’s Rights.
The lawsuit claims psychotropic drugs are often prescribed as “chemical straight-jackets” for foster care children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorder even though there are few to no Food and Drug Administration-approved uses for the drugs among children.
“For too long, Missouri’s most vulnerable children have been subjected to powerful drugs with little state accountability or oversight,” Samantha Bartosz, an attorney at the national advocacy group Children’s Rights, said in a statement.
Among other key reforms, the settlement says all children will get a mental health assessment before being prescribed a psychotropic drug and monitoring appointments at least every three months.
Texas will have to submit to a federal court’s supervision of plans for relieving the “crushing” workloads of Child Protective Services caseworkers who track foster children, a federal appeals court has ruled.
“Our faith traditions teach us to treat everyone, especially those in need, with the dignity and respect we want for ourselves,” said Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, in the statement. “That’s why the Interfaith Coalition was formed: to focus on children in foster care.”
As Michigan moves to pull the plug on a computer system whose poor performance has made it difficult to track progress in foster care reform, Samantha Bartosz comments on improvements the state has committed to: “They can say, ‘This home is unsuitable.’ They can demand certain things be done.”