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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Ind. Courts - "1,400 Indiana families sue Indiana DCS for unpaid subsidies"

Faran Fronczak reported yesterday for FOX28:

Cohen & Malad, LLP and Friedman & Associates, P.C. have filed a class action lawsuit for more than 1,400 Indiana families who have adopted children from the DCS. The lawsuit alleges a breach of contract by the DCS for failing to pay adoption subsidy payments to those who agreed in a contract, like [LaPorte resident Debra Moss]. * * *

Moss' attorneys are suing for nearly $40,000, just for her. The amount for other families is still being calculated.

The attorneys' press release says in part:
Court documents indicate that the DCS has returned over $238 million to the State of Indiana in excess funds since 2009, yet the agency claimed there were no funds available to pay the adoption subsidy payments promised in the contract. * * *

"The state of Indiana has advised numerous adoptive families that they are eligible for the state adoption subsidy and that they are being placed on a waitlist for payments due to a lack of funding. At the same time, the DCS is returning hundreds of millions of dollars in excess funds back to the state. This is manifestly unfair to these families who are counting on the adoptive subsidy," said Shaw Friedman of Friedman & Associates, P.C.

The ILB has obtained a copy of the complaint; access it here. It includes a copy of the State Adoption Subsidy Agreement.

[More] The Indianapolis Star has a story today by Marisa Kwiatkowski on the suit. A quote:

Attorney Richard Shevitz, of the firm Cohen & Malad, said DCS’ decision not to pay the subsidies is why adoptions from foster care have dropped 35 percent since 2009. He said it is a “lose-lose” for DCS because it costs more for children to remain in foster care than it would for the agency to pay the subsidy.

“People can’t afford to bring these children into their homes without having the resources to care for them,” Shevitz said. “It’s obviously very significant for these families.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 3, 2014 09:11 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts