NY Child Advocacy Group Sues Texas Over Foster Care System
A New York advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit claiming children in the Texas foster care system are forced to spend years in abusive, poorly supervised facilities and homes hundreds of miles from family and friends.
The group, Children's Rights, filed the suit in Corpus Christi on behalf of 12,000 children housed in long-term foster homes, group homes and residential treatment centers across the state.
It names Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Thomas Suehs and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein as defendants.
The suit, which identified nine children by their initials as named plaintiffs, calls on the state to revamp a system that the group says fails foster children.
"For too many children, it's the end of hope for them," Children's Rights' executive director Marcia Robinson Lowry said.
In response to the suit, state officials say children in Texas foster care are safe and caseloads are falling. They also say a redesign of the foster care system is well under way.