Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Children's Right: Texas' Rick Perry defends dismal treatment of foster care kids

AUSTIN, September 27, 2011—Last March, a child advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas, claiming serious problems in that state’s foster care system.

The 89-page lawsuit was filed by the New York-based child advocacy group Children’s Rights on behalf of nine Texas children between the ages of nine and 16.

Among the most common abuses in the Texas system under Governor Perry’s stewardship, is the uprooting of foster care children. Statistics show that, as of 2009, children who had been in the state's custody more than three years had been in an average of 11 different homes or shelters.

The lawsuit alleges that under the leadership of Governor Rick Perry, the state of Texas has allowed these children, and, reportedly 12,000 others, to be bounced from home to home under the foster care system, systematically denying them a right to a permanent family.

The suit also claims that children in the state’s foster care suffer both physical and mental abuse, are denied mental health services, and are routinely separated from siblings.

The suit cites specific examples of the detriment caused by Perry’s administration to foster kids, like one child who wound up in a hospital in Belton, Texas so severely medicated that he was brought in on a stretcher unable to stand or communicate. Another incident is detailed involving a child who was consistently sexually abused by his foster care family chosen by the state.

While the suit seeks no damages, it asks that the state reform and improve its foster care system, which during Perry’s tenure has been seriously compromised due to negligent supervision and outsourced contracts to third parties without accountability.

Governor Rick Perry, who is officially one of the defendants in the suit, had his office issue this innocuous statement in response:

Child protective services has continued to be a priority for the governor, including declaring CPS reform an emergency item in the 2005 legislative session, and taking other steps to further improve the system since then.

The governor believes the elected members of the Texas Legislature, rather than a New York interest group or a federal judge, are better suited to determine how the State of Texas should care for some of our most vulnerable Texans – our children.

The governor expects the agency to continue ensuring Texas children are safe, and receive the proper care and services they need.

Source http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/red-thread-adoptive-family-forum/2011/sep/27/rick-perry-defends-dismal-treatment-foster-care-ki/

No comments:

Post a Comment