Federal Judge Slaps Texas With $50k Fine Per Day For Insufficient Foster Care

Chris Fox
November 06, 2019 - 10:48 am
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AUSTIN (KRLD) - A federal judge has fined the state of Texas $50,000 per day for not having adequate foster care. 

The fine is about rules put into place by US District Judge Janis Graham Jack requiring the state to provide overnight supervision for foster kids.

When asked by the Judge in the Tuesday hearing if the state has abided by the provision, lawyers from the Attorney General’s office said there was a memo sent to the state-run foster care homes making them aware of the requirement. The judge then threatened to arrest members of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) if her order was not followed. The judge also added that the fine would double on November 15th if the state continues to ignore her overnight provision.

Marcia Lowry of the child advocacy group A Better Childhood represents some of the foster kids suing the state. She said in court it was obvious that the judge was not satisfied with the state’s efforts to ensure the foster kids were safe.

“She made clear that she is tired of the State not knowing what’s going on, or else telling her that things were going on that weren’t going on.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement after the hearing:

DFPS and HHSC (Health and Human Services Commission) sought clarification concerning the broad order at issue in this case and demonstrated they’re working expeditiously to comply with the court’s order. Our children in Texas deserve reasonable provisions that make that care more safe and accessible and we’re dedicated to working with all parties towards that good goal.”