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Children's Rights Inc Sues Arizona
February 4, 2015 permalink
Children's Rights Inc, which earlier this month sued South Carolina, is launching another suit against Arizona. Many newcomers to the issue of child protection are filled with hope that these suits will correct the abuses. They won't. The suits are a form of collusion with social services    , they are a money grab by Children's Rights Inc   and by increasing the budget for foster care  increase the incentives to take children from mom and dad.
Lawsuit Accuses Arizona of Placing Foster Children in Jeopardy
Insufficient Health-Care Services, Dearth of Foster Homes Among Allegations
Link to graphic Arizona Foster-Care Census Rises.
Child-welfare advocates filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday accusing Arizona officials of jeopardizing the well-being of nearly 17,000 children in the state’s foster-care system by failing to provide sufficient health-care services and an adequate number of foster homes.
The complaint comes as Arizona’s foster-care population rose more rapidly in recent years than any other state in the nation. Some foster children, the lawsuit alleges, slept in offices because they didn’t have homes.
A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, said the state is reviewing the allegations.
“Gov. Ducey takes the safety and well-being of foster care children extremely seriously,” the spokesman said. “They are among the most vulnerable in our state, and the governor believes it is imperative that the government protect them,” he said.
The number of children in Arizona’s foster-care system rose to 13,461 in 2012, an 80% increase from 2003, according to federal data. The number of children in foster care nationally fell 22% during that same period, according to the data.
The suit, filed in federal court in Phoenix, alleges a broad range of failures throughout the foster-care system.
The lawsuit alleges there is a severe shortage of health-care services for foster-care children and a dearth of foster-care homes.
The suit also claims state officials didn’t adequately preserve foster children’s ties to their biological families and haven’t investigated reports of child abuse in a timely manner.
The suit named Charles Flanagan, director of the state’s Department of Child Safety, and William Humble, director of the state’s Department of Health Services, as the defendants. Both agencies didn’t comment on the allegations, referring inquiries to the governor’s office.
Arizona has previously come under intense scrutiny over its ability to care for children potentially facing abuse.
In 2013, the head of the state agency that oversaw child-protective services disclosed publicly that the agency had failed to investigate thousands of reports of abuse and neglect beginning in 2009.
Last year, then-Gov. Jan Brewer , a Republican, called a special legislative session that ultimately approved a major overhaul of the child-welfare system, creating the stand-alone Department of Child Safety.
But Tuesday’s lawsuit alleged the changes enacted last year haven’t addressed the failings in the state’s foster-care system. The suit was filed by three law firms on behalf of 10 children currently in the foster-care system. It seeks class-action status.
“Arizona’s reforms to date will not keep children safe,” said Anne C. Ronan, an attorney with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest who is part of the lawsuit. “The state’s recent efforts to reduce its huge backlog of reports that children have been maltreated in their homes do not even address, much less remedy, the core deficiencies that are harming children already in state custody.”
The 51-page complaint outlined the stories of 10 children in state care ranging in age from 3 to 14. These children haven’t received essential services because of a lack of resources, the suit alleged.
Some of the children were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and others threatened suicide, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit charged that the state has a shortage of family foster homes.
There were 9,418 children who needed a licensed foster-care home as of September, but there were only 4,397 foster homes with 5,669 available spaces, according to the suit. That left 3,749 children without foster homes, resulting in some children sleeping in offices, the lawsuit charged.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Here is the complaint (pdf) in the case known as Beth K vs Flanagan or BK vs Flanagan. Paragraph 19 on page 5 starts the biographies of the complaining foster children, conveniently supplied to Children's Rights Inc before the litigation reached the discovery phase.