Children living in foster care need what all kids need: love, stability, health, safety and a path to create a successful adult life. For too long in Washington State children living in foster care haven't gotten what they need. A court decision in early July ordered the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to keep the promises made to foster kids in the 2004 settlement of the Braam v. Washington lawsuit.
The Braam lawsuit is a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of children in WA's foster care system. In 2004 DSHS and the plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement that includes major reforms to the foster care system. On June 30th the court found that DSHS has failed to comply with the agreement in four key areas and ordered the Department to change their practices as well as provide accurate data regarding foster children, or face ongoing court monitoring.