Oregon CPS couldn’t even safely care of the hundreds of thousands of children it had ripped from families at the slightest anonymous report, yet it continued to destroy more families and to destroy the very kids they are charged with protecting.
On Sept. 28, a former Give Us This Day staff member, Rachel Rosas, told the Senate interim Human Services Committee that children entrusted to the organization went hungry, slept in filthy beds that lacked sheets, and were regularly neglected. That treatment came in spite of state contracts that paid Give Us This Day a minimum of $118 per day per child.
“There was no budget for groceries,” says Rosas, who worked in a group home for 15 girls. “It was disgusting.”
The latest lawsuit was filed Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The three plaintiffs are seeking $16,320,000 in damages that could be trebled upon a guilty finding.
The lawsuit alleges the three victims – identified only as “AA,” “BB” and “CC” – are 9, 8 and 7 years old respectively and that they “suffered severe permanent and progressive personal injuries and traumas.”
DHS is accused of falling below the applicable standard of care.
The lawsuit claims the agency was negligent by:
- Failing to adequately perform reasonable screening of the victim’s foster placement
- Failing to adequately perform reasonable home study, certification and other background checks on the foster home, the people in the foster home and other children in the foster home.
- Failing to detect the presence of a potentially abusive environment
- Failing to protect the children when “DHS has actual or constructive” knowledge that there was an unreasonable risk of harm.
The children, the lawsuit claims, have been abused physically, emotionally and sexually.
“They have been exposed to pornographic material and sexual touching,” the lawsuit asserts.
Other allegations made in the lawsuit include:
- The children received “inferior” care and hygiene.
- DHS has “actual knowledge” that the children were being abused and neglected.
- DHS placed the three children in the care of parents who did not speak English.
Lawyers for two children in Oregon’s foster care system filed a federal class action lawsuit against the state Tuesday, alleging the Department of Human Services’ increasing practice of housing some children in hotels and offices violates federal and state laws.
A disproportionate share of the foster children parked in temporary quarters have mental disabilities including behavioral and psychiatric impairments, and the state has described them as “hard to place” with foster families and programs, according to the lawsuit. By housing these children in hotels, offices and even a juvenile detention facility, the state denied them access to the family-like environment and stability that it’s supposed to provide for all children in its care, it says.
That violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state anti-discrimination and child welfare laws, the suit says.
“These children are disproportionately denied — by reason of their disability — the opportunity to benefit from a state program to provide safe, nurturing homes for children and from the mental health services offered by (the state),” lawyers wrote in a court filing.
We need not look far for human rights violations. We have human rights problems in own back yard. Let’s clean up that mess first before we look overseas.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7: 3-5.