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. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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