Posted on May 23, 2022

Teddy bear wearing blue bowtie with sad expression on face.Texas Attorneys File Suit Against Greg Abbott and Private Foster Care Organization

Children in foster care are there at no fault of their own. Regardless of the reason why a child enters foster care, it’s up to the state and its contracted organizations to keep kids safe. Yet, abuse and neglect are reported, with nothing done to stop it.

Our Dallas wrongful death attorney has advocated for more oversight of these organizations to ensure they’re doing their job of keeping kids in the system safe.

As of May 2022, the legal team at the Button Law Firm has added multiple parties to the lawsuit pending in Dallas County, Texas, brought on behalf of Amari Boone and his family. Plaintiffs have added claims against Governor Greg Abbott, who is responsible for the state’s foster care system as head of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and the third-party contractor for services CK Family Services as defendants to the ongoing lawsuit against private foster care agency our community. our kids. and its employees. The suit seeks justice for the preventable death of Amari. If Texas DFPS, our community. our kids., and its employees and contractors had followed child safety laws, ensured proper supervision of the children in their care, and had timely intervened, the Amari Boone would still be alive today.

Negligence by a Texas Private Foster Care Agency

Private foster care agency in our community. our kids. publicly positioned itself as the leader in quality foster care management to take over the case management duties of a northeast region of the foster care system in Texas. The state of Texas has paid these private organizations millions of dollars to provide a more efficient foster care system. Yet when the curtain is pulled back, it is revealed that these organizations have fallen short of expectations. Organizations like these need to be more closely monitored by the state to ensure they are living up to the standards they marketed to secure the state’s contract. Child safety, quality control, and oversight is lacking. Children are falling through the cracks of this system.

Foster Care Child Abuse in Texas

Foster children should be kept safe while in the care of the state and the organizations contracted by the state. Many of the children are placed in foster homes with foster families. The agency must do multiple things to ensure the child’s safety, including conducting a screening of the foster parents by conducting interviews, performing background checks, and studying the foster family’s home to ensure it provides a safe environment for children. Once the child is in the care of a foster family, the agency is required to continuously check in with the child to ensure a healthy and safe environment. If the agency notices signs of abuse or neglect in the foster home, they must remove the child immediately and conduct an investigation into violations of child safety laws.

In the case of Amari Boone, multiple signs of abuse were reported in the months leading up to his death. Caseworkers employed by our community. our kids. tasked with keeping Amari safe failed to respond to these reports of abuse, failed to document reports of abuse, failed to conduct required home visits, failed to ensure the placement family was following the child safety plan, and failed to follow procedures created to keep Amari safe.  

Changes That Need to be Made to the System

The State of Texas’s claims its intended goal of adding privatized foster care was to reduce costs for the state and increase efficiency. Cutting spending has led to cutting necessary resources that foster kids need, such as qualified, trained, and supervised caseworkers. It has led to higher caseloads than promised by these private organizations. It has led to overworked caseworkers being unable to keep up with the day-to-day demands of keeping foster children safe.

Children deserve to have a safe environment where they’re not subjected to abuse, neglect, injury, and death. Kids continue to get hurt by the system – and not much is done about it.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.