A national child advocacy group, based in New York, has filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts. The suit was filed on behalf of thousands of children who were abused and neglected in state custody. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Connecticut, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. Lawsuits like these hold state agencies accountable who unnecessarily remove children from their homes, shuffle them around, and place them in environments that present greater risks of harm.
The lawsuit alleges that the state Department of Children and Families violated children’s constitutional rights by placing them in dangerous and unstable situations.
Advocates say any improvements haven’t gone nearly far enough to fix the system. The lawsuit alleges that the rate at which children in foster care in Massachusetts suffer abuse in state-supervised foster homes and institutions is nearly four times the national rate.
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