ILNews

DCS sued for cuts to adoption, foster care rates

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2009
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Add foster and adoptive parents to the list of people unhappy with the Indiana Department of Child Services for making rate cuts in 2010. Some of those parents filed a class action suit Tuesday in federal court against DCS director James W. Payne in hopes of preventing the cuts.

The foster and adoptive parents are unhappy about a 10 percent cut in all current foster care rates and adoption payments beginning January 2010. The parents received a letter from DCS explaining the cuts, which were a result of analyzing current costs and a comparison of Indiana's foster care rates to those of other states. Because the maximum monthly adoption payments are required by law to be based on a percentage of the applicable foster care per diem rate, the DCS decided to reduce all monthly payments by 10 percent, according to the letter.

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court's Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, C.H., R.H., D.S., and T.S., on their own behalf and on behalf of those similarly situated, et al., v. James. W. Payne, as director of DCS, No. 1:09-CV-1574, involves four proposed classes: foster parents who receive or will receive foster care maintenance payments from DCS; children in foster care or who will be in foster care, for whom maintenance payments are made or will be made by DCS; adoptive parents who receive adoption assistance payments through DCS; and adoptive children for whom the adoption assistance payments are being made.

The proposed classes, represented by various parents and children, claim the reduction of the maintenance and assistance payments violate Title IV(E), and 42 U.S.C. sections 672(a), 673(a)(3), and 675(4). The plaintiffs argue they didn't consent to the cuts and that they were made solely because of budget concerns and without individual assessments by DCS of the families receiving the payments.

The parents and children, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, also filed a motion for class-action certification. They seek a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Payne from reducing the payments.

This is the second suit filed this month against DCS and Payne because of cuts to rate payments. On Dec. 14, The Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies filed a suit in Marion Superior Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief because DCS is cutting reimbursement rates next year to IARCCA members who provide services to abused, neglected, and delinquent children. IARCCA is represented by Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis.
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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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