(New York, NY) – Today an independent federal court monitor released a report that reviews the progress of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) in reforming its child welfare system, a longstanding effort spurred by the national advocacy group Children’s Rights. In response to the report, covering the second quarter of 2014, Ira Lustbader, litigation director of Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:
“While we commend Connecticut for further reducing its use of congregate care and working toward stabilizing caseloads, it is critical for the state to reinvest in community-based services that allow children to live and thrive in family settings. The state is still struggling in important areas like case planning and ensuring kids have quality mental health treatment. We believe Commissioner Katz is committed to addressing these issues head on.
“That said, the federal court order requires the state to allocate resources to fully implement mandated improvements. We are advocating on behalf of the children in DCF’s care in Connecticut, and we must insist these children have the care they deserve.”
Children in the class action known as Juan F. v. Malloy, originally filed in 1989, are represented by Children’s Rights and Steven Frederick of the Stamford law firm Wofsey Rosen Kweskin & Kuriansky LLP. The case was filed against state officials on behalf of the approximately 6,000 children in the custody of the Connecticut child welfare system and thousands more at risk of entering custody.