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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 12:04 PM

Texas Fined $50,000 Per Day for Foster Care Failures [View all]

(CN) – Starting Friday, Texas must pay daily fines of $50,000 for not abiding by a court order requiring caretakers to maintain 24-hour supervision of children in group foster homes, a federal judge ruled, adding to the more than $10 million the state has spent fighting reforms in court.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed down the sanctions order Thursday after finding she had been under the false impression for nearly six years that all group homes with more than 12 foster children had staff providing 24-7 supervision.

This includes residential treatment centers for children with behavioral problems where they are often sedated with multiple medications and “group residential organizations” that can house several hundred children, Jack wrote in a 25-page order.

In a December 2014 bench trial, Lisa Black, then-assistant commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Child Protective Services division, testified that Texas requires all group homes in the state with 13 or more children to be supervised at all hours by caretakers, according to the order.

“What is more egregious is that when Lisa Black made this statement, not one of defendants’ counsel, then-DFPS Commissioner John Specia, or any of the DFPS staff members present in the courtroom sought to correct this false testimony,” Jack wrote.

Nine children brought a class action in March 2011 on behalf of the thousands of kids in the state’s long-term foster care, or “permanent managing conservatorship.”


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Reply Texas Fined $50,000 Per Day for Foster Care Failures [View all]
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