5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Rules on Texas Foster Care System Lawsuit
A federal appeals court ruled on the long-running Texas foster care system lawsuit on Monday, July 8, 2019. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned certain mandated fixes to the Texas foster care system, including an overhaul to the way the state tracks and records information about foster care children. The court upheld, however, other requirements, including that no children be placed in licensed foster homes with more than six children without 24-hour supervision of an adult.
In summary, the 5th Circuit ruled as follows:
- The state must require 24-hour supervision of licensed group homes;
- The state can continue to utilize I See You Workers and face-to-face meetings do not have to be with primary caseworker;
- The court must have oversight of workload studies for CPS caseworkers;
- The state need not comply with the requirement for a new integrated computer system;
- The court must be allowed access to DFPS’s data management system and all DFPS records, but court staff are required to maintain confidentiality;
- The requirement to give court all available raw data relevant to all previous third-party studies is removed;
- The injunction’s termination provisions are maintained; and
- The plaintiff’s request to lift the stay in full is denied.