The Texas foster care system is under scrutiny in a lawsuit that claims the state’s system is so dangerous for children that it violates their constitutional rights. Yetter Coleman, along with outstanding co-counsel, has been fighting for the rights of foster children for more than ten years.
The case revolves around the treatment of children in the foster care system, with a focus on those who have been in the system for more than a year and are classified as “permanently” in the state’s care. Despite increased funding for foster care in recent years, reports from foster children and social workers suggest that the system remains deeply flawed. The lawsuit has brought to light troubling stories of children being abused in the state’s custody or simply walking out of placements and fending for themselves, only to wind up injured, trafficked, or killed. The state has been held in contempt twice for not following court orders to reform the system, highlighting seemingly political resistance to reform. Despite initial promises of cooperation, the state is fiercely fighting the lawsuit.
The case is still ongoing, and the judge has given the state one more chance to fix its own system. However, if the state fails to do so, the system could be placed under federal control, an extreme step with only a few precedents in child welfare cases.
To learn more about the lawsuit and the state of the Texas foster care system, click here to read the full Texas Monthly article (paywall).