Foster Parents Sue L.A. County

By City News Service

A nonprofit group and a trio of foster parents sued Los Angeles County Wednesday, alleging the Department of Children and Family Services fails to properly communicate with foster parents and violates notification requirements when children are removed from their homes.

“On a daily basis justice is being denied to our children because of DCFS’ refusal to comply with the law,” plaintiffs’ attorney Dan Stormer said.

“Children are being abused and are even dying because DCFS refuses to follow the law. They will not consider the input of the people who have the best information for the court to utilize in determining the best interests of the child.”

County officials had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

The suit was filed on behalf of the nonprofit group Advokids, foster parent Heather Whelan and former foster parents Patrick Guske and Carrie Chung, who are both adoptive parents.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges that DCFS routinely violates state welfare codes, California Rules of Court, state Department of Social Services regulations and its own procedures “in keeping foster parents apprised of what is being or will be done with the foster children living in their homes.”

“As a result of DCFS’ violations of its legal duties, juvenile dependence courts are deprived of relevant information regarding the current status of foster children, and make judicial decisions about foster children without the benefit of readily available information,” according to the lawsuit.

“Foster parents and other caregivers are an especially critical source of information in part because too few DCFS employees are responsible for monitoring these children’s welfare.”

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August 7, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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