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Settlement reached on foster care rates

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Indiana Department of Child Services has agreed not to cut subsidies for foster and adoptive parents and other caregivers as part of a class-action settlement in federal court.

Though it hasn’t received final court approval in the Southern District of Indiana, the Nov. 19 agreement between the state agency and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana would make permanent a preliminary order issued by U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in January. That order barred DCS from imposing a 10 percent cut in the maximum $25 per day subsidy that parents and guardians receive for foster kids and some special needs adoptive children. DCS had proposed the reduction late last year after Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered state agencies to slash their budgets because of revenue shortfalls, but two federal lawsuits that were later combined alleged the cuts violated parts of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 670, et seq.

The case is C.H., et al. v. James W. Payne, No. 1:10-CV-381. This proposed settlement stipulates that DCS isn’t admitting any violation and does not concede on the merits, but that both parties want to reach a settlement.

This proposed settlement allows DCS to come up with a new formula for calculating the daily rate for children in foster care by the end of 2010, but that does not preclude foster parents from challenging the new rates when they’re determined, according to a class notice attached to the proposed settlement. The proposal also provides that DCS will pay about $104,812 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Once the class members receive notice, Judge Barker will likely consider the proposed settlement in January.•

Rehearing "Cuts trigger two lawsuits" IL Jan. 6-19, 2010

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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

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