Plaintiffs Respond to Texas’ Attempt to Stall Foster Care Reforms: ‘It is time to … fix what has long been broken’

(Houston, TX) – Texas filed a notice of appeal as well as a motion to stay in response to Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack’s ruling that declared the state must make targeted changes to its foster care system. In turn, Paul Yetter, lead trial lawyer for the plaintiffs in M.D. v. Perry, issued the following statement:

“When a federal court finds that a foster care system has been hurting the very kids that it is supposed to protect, it is time to stop stalling and fix what has long been broken. We will vigorously oppose Texas’ latest efforts to defend a system that allows thousands of our children to suffer abuse, neglect and instability.”

Children’s Rights and Texas co-counsel Haynes and Boone, LLP and Yetter Coleman LLP brought M.D. v. Perry in 2011 on behalf of 12,000 children in permanent foster care, or permanent managing conservatorship (PMC). Following a two-week trial in December 2014, Judge Jack ruled on December 17, 2015 in favor of plaintiff children, noting the state put kids at risk because of high caseloads, dangerous foster group homes, inadequate investigations into abuse and neglect reports and a lack of placement options. The decision allowed 30 days for the court to hold a hearing to select an “independent Special Master,” and stated that within 180 days of selecting the “Special Master,” that person would present an “Implementation Plan to reform Texas’s foster care system.”