In Arizona, the US Supreme Court has declined to review a 2015 lawsuit alleging gross failures in the foster care system that should be treated as a class-action matter. Arizona Department of Child Safety argues that it has made substantial improvements, yet New York-based nonprofit Children's Rights has brought similar lawsuits in other states, where they argue that the systemic problems can only be solved with judicial intervention.
California and New York child welfare agencies have instructing opposing instructions on in person family visitations. New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) has instructed providers to attempt in person visiting plans and court orders and to arrange for video chats or phone calls only when necessary. On the other hand, Los Angeles County's child welfare system has suspended all court-ordered visits between parents and siblings as it poses imminent health and safety risks. Nationwide state and county child welfare agencies are struggling with this issue and balancing the public health concerns with the welfare of children.
Virginia legislature may fund an ombudsman for children in foster care after the General Assembly passed a bill. The Office of Children's Ombudsman will investigate complaints against the Virginia Department of Social Services focusing on foster care and child-placing decisions. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission recommended the creation of an ombudsman office so foster families who had problems would have a place they could report problems to.
The latest fromVoice for Adoption advocacy can be found here.
Update from theHuman Rights Campaign Foundation can be found here.