Texas Foster Care: “Rape, Abuse, Psychotropic Medication, and Instability” Still the Norm as State Fights Against Reform
The battle continues between the State of Texas and attorneys who represent more than 12,000 children in the state's foster care system. A panel of three judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments Monday, April 30, about the constitutionality of the state's troubled foster care system. This is the latest chapter in a fight to change the system in which, according to U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack, "... children have been shuttled throughout a system where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication, and instability are the norm." After Judge Jack ruled in December 2015 that the system as it stood was unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton appealed the decision, defending the state's foster care system. Many of the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who were formerly foster care children, have now become adults and aged out of the system and are missing. The San Antonio Express ran a story looking into what has happened to these Texas foster children who aged out of the system, and they found that most of them suffer unemployment, homelessness, and sex trafficking as adults.