Marion, Lake and Scott Counties in Indiana have lawsuits filed against them on behalf of foster kids, and it’s about time. We are Robert Raskin and Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, and we are advocates for families that have been harmed by corruption in the CPS, DHR, foster care, and court systems. Stories of families and children fighting back and demanding justice when they have been wronged by these systems warm our hearts, because we understand how helpless most families feel when they are caught in the system.
Foster children are at the mercy of the court and the organizations that are charged with protecting them, but what happens when their rights aren’t protected? For most of us, when our rights are violated and harm is done to us, we call an attorney. Foster kids in Indiana need an attorney in these instances just the same as any of the rest of us would. Even felons who have committed violent crimes are appointed attorneys, so why not this vulnerable group of minors?
There are an astounding 17,000 children in foster care in Indiana. According to one 2018 report, the state has one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect cases in the country, with children ending up in the system at over double the national average. That’s 17,000 kids whose constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law were violated. Parents in these cases are appointed legal counsel, so why aren’t the kids?
It’s time to start making these corrupt organizations pay and holding them accountable for their failures, and that’s exactly what these lawsuits have set out to do. Providing these children with legal representation is not just for their benefit – it’s for everyone’s benefit. Currently children who are not receiving counsel are being placed into group homes more often than they would otherwise. This costs the state more, and it costs the children, too, because outcomes for kids in group homes are worse than for those who are in foster homes.
The kids who aren’t getting a say in any of the details of their own lives are the ones who need it most, and finally the State of Indiana has a chance to give it to them. Let’s hope the courts do the right thing. After all, it’s in the Constitution.
Indiana is no stranger to scandals in their CPS system.
There is a shortage of qualified foster parents in Indiana.