August 9, 2006

Partial Settlement in Florida Shelter Care Lawsuit

Youth Law Center announces the partial settlement of Susan C. et al. v. Department of Children and Family Services, et al., our case in Tallahassee, Florida, regarding the practice of DCF and its private contractor to make foster children live in a DCF conference room for days, and sometimes weeks, upon end. The private contractor, Big Bend Community Based Care, entered into a settlement with plaintiffs on August 7, 2006, that states, among other things, that they will set a policy prohibiting overnight stays in offices, conference rooms, or other unlicensed placements in the DCF District over which it manages foster care services. The settlement does not affect ongoing litigation against the State of Florida, but YLC and local counsel hope that the state will make a similar agreement soon.

YLC Executive Director Carole Shauffer and Staff Attorney Corene Kendrick are attorneys for the children, and local counsel on the case are Paolo Annino of Tallahassee and Michael Dale of Ft. Lauderdale.