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Washington DC CFSA-CPS Fails Its Children

Washington DC CFSA-CPS Fails Its Children

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Published by statehoodfordc8027
August 26, 2010 (Washington DC): Brief of Plaintiff in Lashawn v Mayor Adrian Fenty case, showing the District's continuing failure to comply with the basic standards it had agreed to in serving the children of Washington DC. The US Federal District Court Juge Hogan held Mayor Fenty in contempt of Court for CFSA's failures. DC flaunts its obligations and argues that it should not be penalized for having disobeyed the court order it agreed to. Another reason to get rid of Fenty. But, the Washington Post -- which favors Mayor Fenty -- rarely writes about this tragic failure of the Fenty Administration.
August 26, 2010 (Washington DC): Brief of Plaintiff in Lashawn v Mayor Adrian Fenty case, showing the District's continuing failure to comply with the basic standards it had agreed to in serving the children of Washington DC. The US Federal District Court Juge Hogan held Mayor Fenty in contempt of Court for CFSA's failures. DC flaunts its obligations and argues that it should not be penalized for having disobeyed the court order it agreed to. Another reason to get rid of Fenty. But, the Washington Post -- which favors Mayor Fenty -- rarely writes about this tragic failure of the Fenty Administration.

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Published by: statehoodfordc8027 on Aug 27, 2010
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 1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-------------------------------------------------------------xLASHAWN A. by her next friend, Evelyn :Moore, et al., :Plaintiffs, ::v. : 89-CV-1754 (TFH):ADRIAN M. FENTY, as Mayor of the :District of Columbia, et al., :Defendants. :-------------------------------------------------------------x
PLAINTIFFS’ PRE-HEARING BRIEF ON PROPOSED REMEDIES FOR THECONTEMPT FINDINGS ENTERED BY THE COURT AGAINST DEFENDANTS IN ITSAPRIL 5, 2010 MEMORANDUM OPINION
Pursuant to the Court’s Order of July 30, 2010, Plaintiffs respectfully submit their pre-hearing brief on proposed remedies for the contempt findings entered by the Court againstDefendants in its April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion; Plaintiffs’ List of Witnesses, a rationalefor each witness’s live testimony, their anticipated testimony, and the anticipated length thereof (attached as Exhibit A); and Plaintiffs’ List of Exhibits, references to the docket number for anydocuments already in the record, and a brief description of the exhibit (attached as Exhibit B).
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INTRODUCTION
On April 5, 2010, the Court held Defendants in civil contempt for their noncompliancewith Paragraph 8 of the October 7, 2008 Stipulated Order (the “Stipulated Order”). In addition,the Court specifically held Defendant Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in civil contempt for hisnoncompliance with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order. (April 5, 2010 Memorandum Opinion,at 13 (Dkt. No. 1026).)
1
On August 6, 2010, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to submit their pre-hearing brief on August 23, 2010.(Minute Order, Aug. 6, 2010.) Plaintiffs’ counsel then contacted counsel for Defendants and were informed thatDefendants would make their exhibit list available to Plaintiffs on August 23, 2010. Thus, Plaintiffs will submitobjections, if any, to Defendants’ proposed exhibits on August 24, 2010. Per the Court’s July 30, 2010 Order,Plaintiffs provided Defendants with a proposed exhibit list on August 16, 2010.
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 1049 Filed 08/20/10 Page 1 of 18
 
 2As more fully set forth below, the Court should now impose the following sanctions toremedy Defendants’ contumacious conduct.
First 
, as a means of coercing Defendants’compliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should order Defendants toimplement the 2010-2011 Strategy Plan to Achieve Critical Safety, Permanency and Well-beingOutcomes (the “2010-2011 Composite Strategy Plan”), submitted to the Court by the CourtMonitor on June 14, 2010. (Attached as Exhibit C.) The 2010-2011 Composite Strategy Planrepresents the Court Monitor’s good faith and independent effort to achieve an acceptable CFSAstrategy plan for 2010 that builds off of the set of “action steps” in Defendants’ proposed “FinalImplementation Plan,” submitted to the Court on May 28, 2010, and adds performance elementsdeemed essential by the Court Monitor to move CFSA toward compliance with the MFO in atimely and effective fashion.
Second 
, as a means of compensating certain Plaintiffs for actual harm flowing fromDefendants’ noncompliance with Paragraph 8 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should orderDefendants to undertake a competitive procurement process to engage, for a period of two years,a reputable organization with demonstrated results in serving older youth transitioning out of foster care. This two-year period is to be set aside for the provision of direct services and is notto include administrative start-up or related time. The contract provider would deliver after-careand transition services to all youth who either have aged out of CFSA foster care since January 1,2009 or will age out during the first year of the two-year contract.
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These youth have suffered
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Specifically, Defendants should be ordered to issue a request for a proposal from contractors that includes thefollowing language: “The contract provider must be able to provide intensive, comprehensive and individualizedservices to assist youth, without limitation, in maintaining stable and suitable housing; remaining free from criminallegal involvement; participating and improving performance in an educational/vocational program; developingnecessary self-sufficiency life skills; decreasing association with deviant peers and increasing association withpositive peers; obtaining medical services; acquiring parenting skills, where applicable; and identifying, creating orenhancing natural support systems to achieve independence successfully.” Defendants must ensure that thisprovider has cabinet-level support and authority to link youth to District systems (e.g., Rehabilitation ServicesAdministration, the Department on Disability Services, the Department of Mental Health, Supplemental Security
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 1049 Filed 08/20/10 Page 2 of 18
 
 3significant harm due to Defendants’ failure to timely and effectively provide the essentialservices and supports necessary to prepare them for adult life without permanent familyresources. Moreover, because these youth already have aged out of foster care, or soon will doso, they will not materially benefit from the coercive remedy set forth above and require separatecompensatory treatment to be made whole.
Third and finally
, with respect to the Court’s contempt finding against Defendant Fentyfor noncompliance with Paragraph 4 of the Stipulated Order, the Court should order (1) thatPlaintiffs’ counsel be provided an opportunity to meet with Defendant Fenty and his counselevery six months for as long as the current director remains in office to discuss the performanceof the current Director and the effectiveness of CFSA management and (2) that Defendants shallconsult Plaintiffs in the selection process for any new CFSA Director, as was required byParagraph 4 of the Stipulated Order, in the event that a new appointment is made during thependency of this litigation. This coercive sanction will grant Plaintiffs the consultative rolecontemplated in the Stipulated Order and will assure that the Mayor meets his commitment tohear the voices of the Plaintiff Children in administering CFSA.
BACKGROUND
 On October 7, 2008, the Court entered the Stipulated Order underlying the pendingcontempt findings in which Defendants committed to undertake a set of remedial actionsdesigned to address the many areas of non-compliance previously identified in Plaintiffs’ July24, 2008 Motion for a Finding of Civil Contempt. The Stipulated Order resulted from arms-length negotiations between Plaintiffs and Defendants, through their respective counsel and inconsultation with the Court Monitor, and sets forth legally enforceable commitments knowingly
Income and Medicaid) and ensure delivery of services agreed to by the youth, as well as track and report on theirwork with youth and systems during this period of time. The provider will also issue a final and independent reportwithin six months of the end of service delivery period.
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 1049 Filed 08/20/10 Page 3 of 18

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