U. S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver granted class-action status in the litigation that the Center filed 2 ½ years ago against the state, on behalf of a number of foster children. The ruling (available here) was issued September 30, 2017. A trial is expected in spring 2018.
According to Center attorney Anne Ronan, “it’s no longer about one, two or three foster children; rather, it’s about the thousands of children in Arizona’s foster-care system, as well as any children who will enter the system in the future.” The Court certified three classes: 1) the General Class: All children who are or will be in the legal custody of DCS due to a report or suspicion of abuse or neglect; 2) the Non-Kinship Subclass: All members in the General Class who are not placed in the care of an adult relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child; and 3) the Medicaid Subclass: All members of the General Class who are entitled to early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services under the federal Medicaid statute.
Arizona had nearly 17,000 children in foster care as of March 31, 2017, its latest report shows. In August, 900 children entered the system when they were removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse and neglect, according to the Department of Child Safety.