Fed Judge Orders GA Find Perm Homes for Foster Youth

It is about time a Federal Judge has stepped in and done something…of course if ASFA1997 were enforced by states this action would not be necessary!!

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Judge orders state to find homes for 500 kids
By CRAIG SCHNEIDER

Monday, December 15, 2008

A federal judge on Monday ordered the state child welfare agency to improve its efforts at finding permanent homes for 500 children who have lingered for years in foster care in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

Some of these children are older teens, or those with emotional problems, who tend to be more difficult to place. Many are under the age of 10 and don’t have severe emotional problems. But all have been in the system for three or more years.

The nonprofit that brought the lawsuit, Children’s Rights Inc., recently filed a contempt of court motion, asserting the state has failed to abide by the settlement that promised to find homes for more of these children.

This resolution, negotiated over four months, calls on the state to use national experts and local service providers to undertake intensive individual reviews and craft strategies to find the children permanent homes.

The agency must also establish a special “permanency unit” to consolidate and coordinate the efforts.

“With this agreement, DFCS has made a commitment to take every reasonable step to ensure that the children who have been languishing in custody will not spend the rest of their childhood as wards of the state,” said Ira Lustbader, associate director of Children’s Rights.

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