Youth in foster care and foster caregivers in Washington have an opportunity to comment on a proposed settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit involving certain youth in foster care and Disability Rights Washington (DRW), and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). The lawsuit was filed to end multiple one-night foster stays and group care placements for youth in foster care. Another goal of the lawsuit is to end the practice of requiring youth in foster care to spend nights in DCYF offices, hotels, and cars. The settlement will be reviewed by the United States District Court for Western Washington on Sept. 7, 2022.
The youth in foster care identified as part of the settlement are those who:
- have experienced five or more placements (and have either (a) changed foster homes at least once in the last year, or (b) been placed in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) for the past year or more); or
- have been referred for or are in out-of-state group care placements; or
- have experienced a hotel or office stay in the past six months; or
- are awaiting a Children’s Long-Term Inpatient Program (“CLIP”) bed.
Some of the changes and improvements DCYF agrees to in the settlement include creating multiple supportive housing options for 16 – 20-year-old youth in foster care, working to reduce or eliminate office/hotel/car stays, and revising some licensing standards allowing for greater flexibility for youth in foster care. Full details of the lawsuit and the settlement can be found on DRW’s website here. Additional information can be found on DCYF’s website here.
Comments can be submitted until Aug. 12, 2022. Comments can be sent to DRW:
- By mail: Disability Rights Washington, 315 5th Ave. S., Suite 850, Seattle, WA 98104
- By email: DSSettlement@dr-wa.org
- By phone: 206-324-1521 or 1-800-562-2702
People also can attend the court hearing where a judge will decide if the settlement agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The hearing is scheduled for 1:00 PM, Sept. 7, 2022, at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart Street in Seattle in Courtroom 16A.