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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Alexandria Division A.O.

, a child of 12 on 16 September, by her next friend, James Renwick Manship, and her next friend Delores OBrien Heffernan, A.B., N.B., O.B., T.B., Z.B., minor children, by next friend, J. R. Manship, and their next friend Salim Bennett, T.J., a minor child, by her next friend, James Renwick Manship, and her next friend Tiffany Johnson S.S., a minor child, by her next friend, James Renwick Manship, and her next friends Kit and Nancy Hey Slitor, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Next Friend Manship files Pro Se, and as Disabled Veteran, In Forma Pauperis Plaintiffs, v.

Original FILED 2011 SEP 16

SHERRI BROTHERS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Supervisor, Child Protective Services Division MARITA Y. WILSON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division TAMMEE GAYMON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division VALERIE CUFFEE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division SUZANNE EISNER, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Director, Department of Human Services JASON McCANDLESS, in his official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Assistant County Attorney KAREN MARIE GRANE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia JDR Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem ESTHER WIGGINS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia JDR Court Judge GEORGE VAROUTSOS, in his official capacity as Arlington County Virginia JDR Court Judge Defendants. AMENDED COMPLAINT and EMERGENCY MOTION FOR RESTRAINING ORDER

Case No: 1: 11CV1003 JCC/JFA

This is a civil rights class action brought on behalf of A.O., whose 12th birthday was 16 September, the date of the initial filing, and all children who are now or will be in the foster care custody of the Arlington County Department of Human Services. Child Welfare Consent Decrees: Analysis of Thirty-Five Court Actions from 1995 to 2005 report by The Child Welfare League of America and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law states Over the past ten years alone, there has been child
welfare class action litigation in 32 states, with consent decrees or settlement agreements in 30 of these.2
2

Suits have been brought against state as well as local child welfare agencies.

Arlington DHS / CPS is a local child welfare agency.


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Amended Complaint and Emergency Motion for Restraining Order on Arlington County!

Virginia is NOT one of the states that this Child Welfare League and ABA study revealed has been forced to change by legal actions, but that is not to say Virginia DHS/CPS is all hunky-dory (that is, acceptable). At about the same time the GAO of the Virginia General Assembly, the JOINT

LEGISLATIVE AUDIT AND REVIEW COMMISSION wrote a report much on the same subject: A Report in a
Series on the Operation and Performance of Virginias Social Services System House Document No. 21 (2005) Review of Child Protective Services in Virginia. On Page ii is a critical caveat that undermines any credibility of the white-wash JLARC report:
One of the limitations of these reviews that should be noted is that JLARC staff had to rely primarily on individual caseworkers documentation.

One of the key complaints of Parents sucked into the Arlington DHS / CPS litigation vortex is that unsubstantiated allegations by DHS / CPS social workers are rubber stamped by the Juvenile Judges with Emergency Removal Orders often, if not usually, in Ex Parte hearings. False Allegations by DHS / CPS Social Workers are NOT documented, and Parents are denied the notes or caseworkers documentation so to refute the charges, a clear Due Process error. The Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem attorneys do NOT file Motions or other Pleadings to guard the true best interests of the child, rather the G.A.L. corps work as agents of DHS / CPS. A clear and tragic example is the case of S.S. Dana Zemke of Arlington DHS / CPS made unannounced house inspection visits that were NOT part of the Safety Plan, a key document that was missing from the 7000 pages of the case file, found by Next Friend Manship. Zemke stated to Judge Wiggins that Nancy Hey Slitor was starving her baby S.S. Zemke did not provide any facts to support the accusation and Judge Wiggins did not demand any facts. Sadly, neither did any of three defense attorneys compile the facts to argue them in Court. What the facts show is that after Arlington Hospital discovered the prescription by Dr. Mouchahoir was HALF what it should have been, the child S.S. rapidly gained weight, more at home than at the hospital, but S.S. was snatched away by CPS.
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The cases of A.B., N.B., O.B., T.B., Z.B. are an example of excessive over-reaction by Arlington CPS. N.B. and Z.B. were playing with a pilot light (fire) for a second time. To protect them and the rest of the household, their father spanked them with a belt, once a parents prerogative. The mother, who has worked as a social worker in Florida, and the District of Columbia called Police because she felt the belt was too much, though she did not know about the previous playing with fire. Childrens Medical counselors a day or so later saw no bruises or marks. The Police arrived and did not arrest the father. The next day CPS came and had the father arrested, claiming falsely to the Arlington Magistrate that the father had severely beaten his children with numerous objects. Father was forced to cooperate with Arlington authorities upon threat of the children being removed from the home, and he was forced to leave his home and live with his step-father. Thus begins a tragic saga explained in Civil Action No. 1:11 cv 920, as Amended, telling of a coerced Alford Plea and later seizure of the children by CPS from the Mother after she suffered a miscarriage, in part due to stress caused by Arlington CPS. An interrogation tape was first told did not exist (through May), then there was a software issue (through July), and then told the police have it. Constantly shifting stories by CPS. Further there are missing Court Orders and other legal documents from both the Criminal case and the Civil case. There was illegal search and seizure of a properly registered, unloaded handgun with a trigger lock that was safely under the fathers mattress, lifted by a policeman who asked A.B. to grab it for him, used to charge neglect and abuse of the children due to gun ownership. CPS manufactured claims of marks and bruises, refuted by medical experts at Childrens Hospital. Yet even CPS Supervisor Valerie Cuffee first wrote there was no finding adverse to the father, but Assistant County Attorney Jason McCandless persuaded her to change her original report. The litany of lies by Arlington County goes on and on, hurting children.

INTRODUCTION 1. This is a civil rights class action brought on behalf of all children who are now or will be in

the foster care custody of the Arlington County Virginia Department of Human Services, division of Child Protective Service (DHS/CPS) as a result of allegations of child abuse or child neglect (Plaintiff Children), all too often without facts to support the allegations of abuse or neglect.

Amended Complaint and Emergency Motion for Restraining Order on Arlington County!

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Defendants, each sued in his or her official capacity only, are SHERRI BROTHERS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Supervisor, Child Protective Services Division; MARITA Y. WILSON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division; TAMMEE GAYMON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division; VALERIE CUFFEE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division; SUZANNE EISNER, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, Director, Department of Human Services; JASON McCANDLESS, in his official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Assistant County Attorney; KAREN MARIE GRANE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem by either judge VAROUTSOS or WIGGINS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia JDR Court Judge GEORGE VAROUTSOS, in his official capacity as an administror and Arlington County Virginia JDR Court Judge, (collectively, Defendants). Hafer v. Melo 502 U.S. 21 (1991) Social workers (and
other government employees) may be sued for deprivation of civil rights under 42 USC 1983 if they are named in their official capacity. Aponte Matos v. Toledo Davilla (1st Cir. 1998) An officer who obtains a warrant through material false statements which result in an unconstitutional seizure may be held liable personally for his actions under section 1983. Forrester v. White 84 U.S. 219 (1988) Holding that judges do not have absolute immunity when acting in an administrative capacity. See the attached document with hundreds of other cases that have related Family Rights rulings.

2.

Plaintiff Children, each of whom relies on DHS / CPS for basic care and protection, seek

both declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy violations of their legal rights and to prevent Defendants, by their actions and their failure to act as lawfully required, from continuing to cause them harm. Defendants Brothers, Grane, McCandless and Varoutsos specifically have ignored both verbal, and written, Cry for Help reports of Child Abuse from a little girl, A.O., while in the misnamed care of Arlington Foster Care. A.O. wrote a letter on 15 August 2011, and her mother Patty Tackett and a DC Civil Rights lawyer filed the letter in the Court file the same day. On 29 August, A.O.s Grandmother, Next Friend Heffernan, discovered the Child Abuse letter buried deep in the case file, and had the letter brought forward and date stamped so

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it was refiled at the top of the file, and gave a copy to Defendant Jason McCandless. Days later, both the 15 August and 29 August date stamped letters were removed from the file - a FELONY. 3. The foster care system operated by Arlington DHS / CPS is responsible, under federal and

state law, for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect, for delivering in-home services to preserve families when safely possible, for providing temporary care and protection for children who cannot safely remain at home, for securing safe and stable families as soon as possible for children removed into state care, whether by reunification, adoption or legal guardianship, and for preparing those youth who will age out of foster care to live independently as adults. In the Arlington DHS / CPS system there is a pattern of FELONY actions to conceal Child Abuse. In the first Foster family chosen by Arlington DHS / CPS, that of Scott and Marci Burka, while the parents took a 2.5 day trip to Texas, they left their 16 year old daughter Carol Jane CJ in-charge of the household, including 11 year old foster child, Plaintiff A.O. CJ then left the Burka home for an extended period of time leaving her 14 year old brother in-charge. During that time, 11 year old A.O. tried to go to the bathroom but the 14 year old boy blocked her, so A.O. tried to run up the stairs to another bathroom, but the boy grabbed her ankles, caused her to fall on the steps, pulled her down, and punched A.O. in the face and the breasts. Various defendants of the Arlington DHS / CPS system were informed of this assault and child abuse, and instead of investigating, dismissed the report as A.O. making a false statement. When A.O. reported the assault in school, CPS intervened with the school employees to force A.O. to apologize for reporting the Child Abuse assault. After Next Friends Manship and Heffernan contacted the school principal and his assistant, eventually Arlington DHS / CPS changed the Foster family. In a meeting with the Next Friends, Manship and Heffernan were told by the School Psychologist that the emotional well-being of A.O. improved after leaving the Burka foster family. Sadly, such gross neglect is not rare or isolated, in Arlington or beyond. 4. The Arlington foster care system, however, is causing physical and psychological harm to

the abused and neglected children it is mandated to protect. The myriad systemic defects afflicting the Arlington foster care system have long been known to Defendants, who are responsible by law for the many vulnerable children and youth currently in foster care. Defendants are failing to take the necessary action to discharge their obligations to ensure the
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safety and well-being of the children taken into their custody. Several Defendants make False Statements in open court, and file sworn documents filled with False Statements, while others are turning a blind eye to the pervasive practice of Perjury by Arlington DHS / CPS in JDR Court. A Foster Parent to 31 children, who is a good friend of Next Friend Manship and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli states in his15 June 2011 campaign announcement: 4. !The complete overhaul of the Foster Care system within the Department of Family Services. As a foster parent to 35 children, I unfortunately know that the system is broken at almost every level(17 Sep 2011 change to 35) 5. DHS / CPS has harmed and continues to harm abused and neglected children in foster care

in numerous ways, including: a. Children are abused and neglected while in Arlington foster care custody at an alarming rate, there is a pattern of deception of Permanency Plans, and extortion of Parents to go along with the threat of losing their children, [Contrary to Court Rulings such as FLORIDA v. BOSTICK, 501 U.S. 429 (1991)] creating unrealistic treatment plans and requirements upon the parents, and then with pre-planned failure, acting to take the children away, either for placement in permanent foster care, adopted out, or placed in contracted care facilities that have a deplorable record of Child Abuse, and have been sanctioned in Federal Court case in the Western District of Virginia. b. Children in DHS / CPS foster care are moved from foster home to foster home with damaging frequency, many moved between five or more different foster homes while in state care. If left in their family, the children would be better cared for than in foster care. c. Many of the children in DHS / CPS foster care with a permanency goal of adoption languish in foster care for years; some literally grow up in state care, denied time with parents. d. Children age out of DHS / CPS foster care every year with no permanent family, a substantial number of them inadequately prepared to live independently as adults. Next friend Manship has done video interviews with a former Foster Child that details the abuses she suffered under Virginia care at the contractor used by Arlington. Days after Next Friend Manship made public Arlington association with the Contractor, Defendant

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Valerie Cuffee went to WAMU-FM Public Radio http://wamu.org/audio-player?


nid=15488 announcing a policy change after a Western District of Virginia court decision

adverse to the child reform facility contractor on contract with Arlington DHS /CPS. e. In Arlington Court on 21 September 2011, after the initial filing of this Complaint against Arlington DHS / CPS, it was overheard that Valerie Cuffee was leaving the agency. f. Approximately one in six children who are reunified with their families after removal into foster care return to foster care due to emotional injuries sustained in foster care.

6.

These and other harms to children are caused by Defendants failure to effectively manage

the agencys workforce, resources and practices. A number of systemic problems undermine the agencys ability to fulfill its legal obligations, including:
NOTE: The federal government collects data concerning 52 jurisdictions that participate in the Title IV-E foster program implemented under the Social Security Act. Those 52 jurisdictions are the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Information has been requested from Arlington DHS / CPS, they have said they do not have the information, or the money to collect.

a. DHS / CPS caseworkers may carry unmanageable caseloads vastly exceeding what is considered appropriate according to generally accepted professional standards. Excessive caseloads make it difficult in the best of circumstances, and oftentimes impossible, to meet even minimum standards of care and protection for children. b. DHS / CPS does not require or adequately provide ongoing training for caseworkers and supervisors on how to honor the Rights of both children and parents. c. DHS / CPS uses favoritism in assigning foster children to favored families, in one case Steven Kaufman, a politically connected, assistant U.S. Attorney who was childless with his wife Sandra Doliner, and who hosted parties for Arlington DHS / CPS at their model home a block away from then DHS / CPS offices. DHS / CPS fails to recruit and maintain a sufficient number and array of safe and appropriate family foster homes and therapeutic placements. The serious shortage of qualified foster care trained and screened parents prevents DHS / CPS from matching children with caretakers able to meet their needs, so often forces DHS / CPS to make resource-driven placement decisions based simply on available beds, or bribes, rather than on best interests of the child.

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d. Contrary to U. S. supreme Court and Circuit Court rulings, family relationships are unnecessarily disrupted, and sometimes permanently severed, because DHS / CPS does not ensure regular or meaningful child-parent and sibling visitation, and because parents do not receive the services which might enable their children to safely return home. e. DHS / CPS fails to provide foster parents with the necessary supports and services, such as Respite Foster Parents in the case of the Burkas 2.5 day abandonment of Plaintiff A.O. O, so to properly and legally care for the children placed with them. Among other things, DHS / CPS pays monthly foster care maintenance payments that if the same funds were used to provide proper services to some birth families, the deficiencies alleged by DHS / CPS would be resolved or eliminated. f. DHS / CPS has failed to make child and family services and foster care placements equally accessible to children and parents by placing children far across the state.

7.

As the custodian of children in foster care, DHS / CPS assumes constitutional obligations

that include protecting children in state care from harm and preserving the childrens relationships with their parents and siblings whenever safely possible. Furthermore, because it receives federal funding under Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, as administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. HHS), Arlington must conform to federal laws and regulations concerning the care of children in their custody. Defendants fail to meet these constitutional and statutory obligations. 8. DHS / CPS has not implemented the reforms necessary to remedy the severe and persistent

legal violations within its foster care system, despite its longstanding knowledge of these systemic ills.

9.

Defendants fail to exercise professional judgment in their care and protection of Plaintiff

Children and, through their actions and inactions, demonstrate deliberate indifference toward the safety and well-being of the children in their custody.

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10.

Over the last 15 months, Defendants have exacerbated longstanding systemic problems,

and aggravated the resulting harm to children, by un-Constitutional interventions in families, that is to say interventions NOT in accord with Court rulings, and failing to provide a full continuum of foster care placements and services, and essential services for families.

11.

The Plaintiff Children have waited far too long for state officials to meet their

constitutional and federal law obligations. They now respectfully seek equitable relief from this Court so that they may experience the safe and nurturing childhoods to which they are entitled.

JURISDICTION, VENUE AND ASSIGNMENT

12.

This action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 to redress violations of the United

States Constitution and federal statutes. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1343(a)(3).

13.

Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b). The pervasive and systemic Child Abuse

and Neglect claims arise in this case were perpetrated by Arlington DHS / CPS in the Eastern District of Virginia,. 14. Assignment in the Easter Division is proper pursuant to the rules because all of the Named

Plaintiffs A.O., Arianna, Nikita, Oreinda, Trei, Ziana, Talayah, S.S. reside in the Eastern Division of Virginia: a. Named Plaintiff A.O. was removed from her parental home in Stafford County Virginia and placed into the foster care custody of DHS / CPS pursuant to an action commenced by DHS / CPS in the Arlington County Juvenile Court. The DHS / CPS Office in Arlington handles day-to-day responsibilities on A.O.s case. b. Named Plaintiffs AB, NB, OB, TB, ZB now reside in Stafford County with a Foster family, placed there by Arlington DHS / CPS. Arlington handles day-to-day responsibilities on all these childrens cases.

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c. Named Plaintiff TJ resides in Arlington County: TJ was removed from her parental home in Arlington County and placed into the foster care custody of DHS / CPS pursuant to an action commenced by DHS / CPS in the Arlington County Juvenile Court. A DHS / CPS Office in Arlington handles day-to-day responsibilities on TJs case. d. Named Plaintiff S S, or whatever she has been renamed now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. SS was removed from her parental home in Arlington County and placed into the foster care custody of DHS / CPS pursuant to an fraudulent action commenced by DHS / CPS in the Arlington County Juvenile Court. The DHS / CPS Office in Lynn, Arlington handled day-to-day responsibilities on SSs case for many years. PARTIES Named Plaintiffs
Note: In accordance with local rules, the identities of the minor Named Plaintiffs have been protected with common

initials. At some point, pseudonyms may be necessary because of the many, many children abused by Arlington DHS / CPS will have the same initials..

15.

In early 2009, when AO was six years old, Arlington DHS / CPS sought an Ex Parte Order

for Emergency Removal of a Child from Arlington Juvenile Court, Defendant Varoutsos, which was granted. AO traveled with her Montgomery County Circuit Court Order designated Guardian to Florida, back to Maryland, and then in July 2010 to Stafford County, where she was removed him from the care of her Guardian by the Stafford County Sheriffs Office, and transported across Stafford, Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington County lines without proper paperwork of a pick up order, and delivered to Arlington DHS / CPS and subsequent Arlington Foster care at the Burka residence in Arlington. For many months, AO was denied any access to members of her family.

16.

AO, today twelve years old, remains in foster care. Since AOs removal 14 months ago,

DHS / CPS has moved her twice across four different counties and two foster homes. In addition, AO was assaulted in the first Foster family, abused by a Police Detective and an attorney.

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17.

When DHS / CPS first removed AO from her grandmothers home in July 2010, DHS /

CPS placed her in a foster home along with a 14-year-old boy who engaged in inappropriate, coercive or aggressive behavior.

18.

Despite its knowledge of this threat, DHS / CPS for months refused to select another foster

home for AO. Instead, DHS / CPS forced AO to apologize for reporting the in the foster home assault. Any sort of safety plan proved ineffective.

19.

AO told school employees about the in the foster home child abuse, but if the principal

reported it to DHS / CPS, DHS / CPS refused to take positive, constructive action. AO was forced to stay in the foster home where she was assaulted.

20.

Only by intervention actions by Next Friends of AO, Manship and Heffernan, eventually

forced the Foster family to be changed. Other efforts on behalf of the best interests of the child, AO, have been viciously resisted by the Defendants, including two filings of Unauthorized Practice of Law against Next Friend Manship, who is a Chaplain, and a Mandatory Reporter of Child Abuse or Neglect, and who is working fully within the laws of Virginia.

21. Next friend Heffernan has had a frivolous and malicious Rule to Show Cause filed against her by Defendant Jason McCandless for sharing an un-stamped, thus not official court file document of an false statement filled sworn Affidavit by Defendant Sherri Brothers, that Next Friend Heffernan shared with Next Friend Manship, and Manship sent an email to Defendant Brothers containing a link and the text of the Virginia Perjury Law code section.

22. The above is not a full account of the case, but is indicative. 23. The account of the other minor children will be provided in an additional pleading. Named Plaintiffs, Collectively

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24.

Defendants actions and inactions with respect to the Named Plaintiffs are part of a

systemic pattern of conduct that has caused, and continues to cause, irreparable harm. Defendants have violated and acted with deliberate indifference to and beyond the bounds of professional judgment regarding the Named Plaintiffs constitutional and statutory rights by failing to provide necessary services and appropriate placements for them; by failing to make periodic comprehensive assessments of their needs and providing services consistent with those needs; by failing to make timely and meaningful casework contacts and monitor their progress in foster care in order to ensure their safety and well-being; by failing to provide them with monitoring and services necessary to prevent them from deteriorating physically, psychologically, emotionally, educationally or otherwise while in state custody; by failing to pay foster care maintenance payments on their behalf that cover the reasonable costs of caring for them; by failing to support their family relationships, in particular by not providing child-parent and sibling visits; by failing to provide appropriate management and supervision while they have been in DHS / CPS custody in accordance with their individual needs, best interests and professional standards; by failing to provide case management and planning in accordance with their individual needs, best interests and professional standards; and by failing to develop and implement a viable permanency plan that will allow them to leave foster care and secure safe and appropriate permanent homes in accordance with their individual needs, best interests and professional standards.

Next Friends 25. Named Plaintiff AO. appears by her next friend, James Renwick Manship, Sr. Chaplain

Manship has received training as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate in Fairfax County Virginia in 2001. He has twice completed Therapeutic Foster Parent training through a company licensed in Virginia and Maryland, and on contract with Fairfax County.. Chaplain Manship knows AO personally, generally knows the issues regarding her foster care custody described here and is well suited to represent her best interests in this case. Chaplain Manship maintains his principal residence in Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia, and has received multiple awards from Governor Gilmore and other Virginia elected servants. In 1979 to 1982, Manship lived in

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Arlington County and received the Outstanding Member Award from the Arlington (Host) Lions Club where the Police Chief Smokey Stover, and the Commonwealth Attorney Henry Hudson, who is now a United States Judge in Richmond, were both members.

26.

The other next friends are the Parents or Guardian by Court Order.

Defendants 27. SHERRI BROTHERS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, Supervisor, Child Protective Services Division. 28. MARITA Y. WILSON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division. 29. TAMMEE GAYMON, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division. 30. VALERIE CUFFEE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia Social Worker, Child Protective Services Division. 31. SUZANNE EISNER, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, Department of Human Services. 32. JASON McCANDLESS, in his official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, Assistant County Attorney. 33. KAREN MARIE GRANE, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, JDR Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem 34. ESTHER WIGGINS, in her official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, JDR Court Judge. 35. GEORGE VAROUTSOS, in his official capacity as Arlington County Virginia, JDR Court Judge.

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

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36.

The questions of law and fact raised by the Named Plaintiffs are common to and typical of

the putative class they seek to represent. Each child relies on Defendants for child welfare placement, services and permanency, and is dependent on Defendants for his or her basic safety and well-being. Each child is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed, by the systemic deficiencies within the Arlington foster care system.

37. a.

Questions of fact common to the class include: whether Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff Children safe, appropriate and stable foster

care placements as required by law and by reasonable professional standards; b. whether Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff Children with timely and appropriate services

and care necessary to keep them safe and to prevent them from deteriorating physically, psychologically or otherwise while in state custody as required by law and by reasonable professional standards; c. whether Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff Children with timely and appropriate services

necessary to ensure that they are either safely reunited with their families when appropriate or, when that is not possible, promptly freed for adoption and placed with a permanent family as required by law and by reasonable professional standards; and d. whether Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff Children with the supports necessary to

maintain family relationships including the provision of child-parent visits and sibling visits, as required by law and by reasonable professional standards.

38. a.

Questions of law common to the class include: whether Defendants actions and inactions violate Plaintiff Childrens substantive rights

under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to be free from harm while in state custody; b. whether Defendants actions and inactions violate Plaintiff Childrens rights to family

association under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; c. whether Defendants actions and inactions violate Plaintiff Childrens rights under the

Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (AACWA), as amended by the Adoption

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and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA), and relevant federal regulations to timely adoption and adequate foster care maintenance payments; and d. whether Defendants actions and inactions violate Plaintiff Childrens procedural rights not

to be deprived of legal entitlements including (i) the rights in relation to placement of children in private families; early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment standards; individualized health care plan as provided procedures; (ii) the rights to sibling visitation , (d); and (iv) the right to be considered for placement with relatives, other adult persons who have played significant positive roles in the childs life, and any minor siblings or half-siblings, without a meaningful opportunity to be heard ways: under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

39.

The Named Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the entire class of

Plaintiff Children.

40.

The violations of law and resulting harms averred by the Named Plaintiffs are typical of the

legal violations and harms suffered by all class members.

41.

Each Named Plaintiff appears by a next friend, and each next friend is sufficiently familiar

with the facts of the childs situation to fairly and adequately represent the childs interests in this litigation.

42.

Plaintiff Childrens Next Friends have identified and thoroughly investigated all claims in

this action, and have committed sufficient resources to represent the class.

43.

Defendants have acted or failed to act on grounds generally applicable to all Plaintiff

Children, necessitating declaratory and injunctive relief for the class. Plaintiff Childrens counsel knows of no conflicts among class members. GENERAL ALLEGATIONS I. DEFENDANTS ARE CAUSING HARM TO CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE

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DHS / CPS is causing harm to children in its foster care custody in the following a. it fails to protect children from abuse and neglect in foster care;

b. it unnecessarily moves children among multiple foster care placements; c. it places children in unsuitable or inappropriate foster homes that cannot properly care for them; d. it fails to reunify children with their families safely, or to provide them with an adoptive or

other permanent family when it finds that safe reunification is not possible; and e. it fails to provide needed medical, dental, mental health, educational and other services necessary for childrens safety, permanency and well-being.

44.

DHS / CPS thereby violates the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the Plaintiff

Children.

47.

The CFSR process includes two categories of performance measures relating to outcomes

for children. First, the performance of the audited system across the entire population of children served is evaluated in relation to six safety and permanency indicators based on a national database of child welfare outcomes. Second, a randomly selected set of child case files from the audited system is reviewed by federal auditors and assessed in relation to seven safety, permanency and well-being outcome measures.

A. 48.

Defendants Fail To Protect Children From Abuse And Neglect In Foster Care Maltreatment of children in foster care has been a significant problem in Arlington for

years.

49.

Fully aware of this history of high rates of abuse or neglect in foster care, Defendants are

failing to implement the changes required to protect children in foster care from maltreatment. 50. The high rate of maltreatment in care in Arlington is an inevitable result of a system

burdened with arrogant attitudes of caseworkers, inadequate caseworker and supervisor training,

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poor caseworker-child visitation practices and an inadequate array of appropriate foster homes and attendant support services.

51.

The problem of child maltreatment in Arlington foster care has received wide publicity,

including, inter alia: a. Numerous Washington Examiner articles b. Articles in other publications c. Many Web sites and Web Logs (Blogs) d. Many YouTube and other Video service exposure documentaries

52. Every move may be experienced by the child as another traumatic event, regardless of the reason for the move. Stability in living situation is a foundation to permanency. Instability of placement, multiple moves, and our inability to achieve timely permanency can increase a childs sense of anxiety and heighten a childs feelings of insecurity or not belonging.

53.

As recognized in Child and Family Services Plan for FY2010 Multiple moves disrupt a

childs ability to maintain connections with family and/or to develop the connections they need for positive emotional, social growth. Instability in placement also significantly impacts a childs educational achievement. Research has shown that the more frequently a child moves subsequent to a home removal, the longer it is before they are able to return home and the less likely they are to progress in their education.

B. Defendants Unnecessarily Move Children Among Multiple Foster Care Placements 54. Beyond the obvious changes in home environment and primary caretaker, placement

moves often result in changes in a childs caseworker, therapist and other service providers, school and friends, as well as in the frequency or nature of family visitation. 55. DHS / CPS moves children among foster care placements at a rate that places Arlington

among the eight worst foster care systems in the country in terms of placement stability. According to federal data from the July 2007 CFSR, 51.4% of children who had been in foster

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care for one to two years had experienced three or more placements, and 77.5% of children in foster care for more than two years had experienced three or more placements. Even within the first twelve months of their placement into foster care, 28.1% of children in DHS / CPS custody had already experienced multiple placement moves in 2007.

56.

The frequency of moves for children in DHS / CPS foster care is an inevitable result of a

system with an inadequate array of suitable foster homes, ineffective matching between children and foster homes, and a lack of services, specialized programs and financial supports to enable foster parents to manage child needs.

C.

Defendants Place Children In Unsuitable Or Inappropriate Foster Homes Unable To

Properly Care For Them

57. DHS / CPS harms children by selecting foster homes that are ill-suited and ill- equipped to meet their needs. For example, DHS / CPS placed: a child who only speaks English in a home where English is not spoken; a toddler with foster parents who specifically requested teens and were unable to provide the daycare needed for younger children; an asthmatic child in a home with smokers; and a gay teen in a home intolerant of differences in sexual orientation.

58.

DHS / CPS also harms children by making inappropriate decisions regarding residential

and group placements. Due to the trauma they have experienced, some children are unable to live in an intimate family setting without prior therapeutic intervention and stabilization. For these children, temporary placement in a more structured congregate setting is often clinically recommended.

59.

Defendants frequently do not follow clinical recommendations that a child be placed in a

more restrictive and structured foster care setting such as a residential treatment center. Conversely, Defendants too often fail to return children placed in residential care to more familylike settings when they are ready.

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D.

Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Permanent Families As Soon As Safely

Possible 1. 2. Defendants Fail To Safely Reunify Children With Their Families Defendants Fail To Timely Place Children With Adoptive Families When Reunification

Is Not Possible 3. Defendants Fail To Prepare Children Who Age Out Of Foster Care To Live As

Independent Adults A June 2008 study by the Boston Foundation of youth aging out in 2005, Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life, states: [Y]outh who age out of [DHS / CPS] are still at considerable risk, particularly for homelessness, significant mental health needs, early pregnancy, physical violence and unwanted sexual contact. The study reported that, of the youth surveyed, within three years of aging out of foster care: a. b. 37% experienced homelessness; 54% were unemployed; of those who were employed, 47% were employed 20 hours or less

per week and only 10% received health benefits through employment; c. d. e. f. g. h. 30% were threatened or injured with a weapon in the last 12 months; 11% suffered sexual contact against their will within the last 12 months; 25% had been arrested and 8% had been incarcerated within the last 12 months; 34% had used illegal drugs and 31% had drunk heavily in the past 30 days; 43% had been pregnant or had impregnated someone; and 59% reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row

during the last 12 months, which is an indicator of depression. E. 1. Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Essential Services Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Adequate Visitation With Parents And

Siblings, Damaging Their Family Relationships 2. 3. Children Do Not Receive Adequate Medical, Dental And Mental Health Care DHS / CPS Fails To Assure That Children Receive Adequate Educational Services

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II. THE HARMS AND RISK OF HARMS SUFFERED BY CHILDREN RESULT FROM DEFENDANTS FAILURE TO PROPERLY MANAGE THE DHS / CPS FOSTER CARE SYSTEM A. Defendants Fail To Maintain An Adequately Staffed And Appropriately Trained

Child Welfare Workforce 1. 2. B. 1. 2. 3. Caseworkers Carry Unmanageable Caseloads DHS / CPS Fails To Provide Adequate Training To Its Child Welfare Workforce Defendants Fail To Properly Manage DHS / CPSs Foster Care Placements DHS / CPS Fails To Recruit And Retain An Adequate Number Of Foster Homes DHS / CPS Fails To Timely And Appropriately Make Use Of Kin Placements DHS / CPS Does Not Appropriately Match Children To Foster Care Placements Capable

Of Meeting Their Needs 4. b) DHS / CPS Fails To Assure Foster Home Safety DHS / CPS Fails To Effectively Monitor Foster Placements Recruited, Managed And

Supervised By Private Agencies C. DHS / CPS Fails To Properly Develop And Implement Case Plans And Service Plans

For Foster Children And Their Families 1. DHS / CPS Fails To Sustain Family Ties And Support Reunification When It Is Safely

Possible 2. 3. DHS / CPS Fails To Assure Timely Adoptions DHS / CPS Fails To Adequately Prepare Youth Aging Out To Live Independently As

Adults D. DHS / CPS Fails To Access Available Federal Funding

COUNT I 60. (Substantive Due Process under the U.S. Constitution) (Asserted by all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children)

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61. 62.

Each of the foregoing allegations is incorporated as if fully set forth A state assumes an affirmative duty under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States

Constitution to protect a child from harm when it takes that child into its foster care custody. 63. The foregoing actions and inactions of Defendants in their official capacities, constitute a

failure to meet their affirmative duty to protect from harm all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children, which is a substantial factor leading to, and proximate cause of, the violation of the constitutionally- protected liberty and privacy interests of all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children. 63. The forgoing actions and inactions of Defendants, in their official capacities, constitute a

policy, pattern, practice or custom that is inconsistent with the exercise of professional judgment and amounts to deliberate indifference to the constitutionally-protected rights and liberty and privacy interests of all Named Plaintiffs and class members. As a result, all Named Plaintiffs and class members have been, and are at risk of being, deprived of the substantive due process rights conferred upon them by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 64. These substantive due process rights include, but are not limited to:

a. the right to protection from unnecessary harm while in government custody; b. the right to a living environment that protects foster childrens physical, mental and emotional safety and well-being; c. the right to services necessary to prevent foster children from deteriorating or being harmed physically, psychologically, or otherwise while in government custody, including but not limited to the right to safe and secure foster care placements, appropriate monitoring and supervision, appropriate planning and services directed toward ensuring that the child can leave foster care and grow up in a permanent family, and adequate medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, and educational services; d. the right to treatment and care consistent with the purpose of the assumption of custody by DHS / CPS; e. the right not to be maintained in custody longer than is necessary to accomplish the purposes to be served by taking the child into custody;

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f. the right to receive care, treatment and services determined and provided through the exercise of accepted professional judgment; and g. the right to be placed in the least restrictive placement according to a foster childs needs.

COUNT II (First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution) (Asserted by all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children) 65. 66. Each of the foregoing allegations is incorporated as if fully set forth The foregoing actions and inactions of the Defendants, in their official capacities, amount

to a policy, pattern, practice, or custom of failure to exercise professional judgment and of deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs constitutional rights, and are the cause of the violation of such rights. As a result of Defendants conduct, all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children have been, and are at further risk of being, harmed and deprived of the liberty interests, privacy interests and associational rights conferred on them by the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

COUNT III (The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 670 et seq.) (Asserted by all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children) 67. 68. Each of the foregoing allegations is incorporated as if fully set forth As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions by Defendants, in their official capacities,

Defendants are engaging in a policy, pattern, practice, or custom of depriving all Named Plaintiffs and class members of the rights conferred on them by the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, as amended by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (collectively the Adoption Assistance Act) and the regulations promulgated under the Act, 45 C.F.R. Parts 1355-1357 to documentation, including a child-specific recruitment plan, of the steps the agency is taking to find an adoptive family, to place a child with an adoptive family and to finalize the adoption (42 U.S.C. 675(1)(E)) and to foster care maintenance payments paid to the foster care providers with whom the child is placed that cover the actual cost (and the cost of

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providing) the Plaintiff childs food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, reasonable travel to visitation with family, and other expenses (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(1), 671(a) (11), 671(a)(12), 672(a)(1), 675(4)(A)).

COUNT IV (Procedural Due Process) (Asserted by all Named Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Children) 69. 70. Each of the foregoing allegations is incorporated as if fully set forth Defendants actions and inactions have resulted and are continuing to result in the

deprivation of the following state-law entitlements to which each Plaintiff child has a constitutionally protected interest, without offering the Plaintiff Children adequate and meaningful opportunity to be heard: a. The rights in relation to placement of children in private families; early and periodic

screening, diagnostic and treatment standards; individualized health care plan; b. c. d. The right to a medical passport as set forth in policy; The rights to sibling visitation as provided in ; and The right to be considered for placement with relatives, other adult persons who have

played significant positive roles in the childs life, and any minor siblings or half-siblings as provided in policy.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

71. a. b.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff Children respectfully request that this Honorable Court: Assert jurisdiction over this action; Order that Plaintiff Children may maintain this action as a class action pursuant to Rule 23

(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; c. Declare unconstitutional and unlawful pursuant to Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil

Procedure: Defendants violation of Plaintiff Childrens substantive right to be free from harm under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution;

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i.

Defendants violation of Plaintiff Childrens rights under the First, Ninth, and

Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; ii. Defendants violation of Plaintiff Childrens rights under the Adoption Assistance and

Child Welfare Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 671(a)(1), 671(a)(11), 671(a)(12), 672(a)(1), 675(1)(E) and 675(4)(A).; and ii. Education/Training. DHS / CPS shall develop and implement educational qualifications

and a mandatory comprehensive pre- service and in-service training program for caseworkers and Defendants violation of Plaintiff Childrens right to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on the basis of state-created property rights.

72. Permanently enjoin Defendants from subjecting Plaintiff Children to practices that violate their rights.

73. Order appropriate remedial relief to ensure Defendants future compliance with their legal obligations to Plaintiff Children, including, but not limited to, the following: i. Return of Children in Foster custody to Parents & Children denied Due Process Rights. ii. Caseloads. DHS / CPS shall establish and implement limits on the caseloads of all casecarrying workers for children in DHS / CPS placements and private agency placements operating under contract with DHS / CPS. These caseload limits shall be based on the standards for accreditation of public child welfare agencies set by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the professional standards set by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) supervisors based on standards for acceptable management of a child welfare system; iii. Availability of Necessary Resources for the Placement of Children and Services for

Children and Parents. An assessment shall be conducted by qualified professionals to determine the need for additional services and placements, including the need for family preservation services, foster and adoptive placements (including placements for children with disabilities or other behavioral needs), wraparound services, reunification services, independent living services, and medical, dental, and mental health services, for children in foster care

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throughout the state; and the time period during which these placements and services will be developed. Defendants shall take the steps necessary to develop these services and placements according to the assessment and the time frames it provides; iv. Monitoring the Safety of Children in Placement. DHS / CPS workers shall visit all

children in placement and their foster parents as frequently as set forth in the standards set by the COA and the CWLA in order to ensure that the children are safe. DHS / CPS shall also comply with the standards and processes required under Arlington law for the approval, screening, oversight and utilization of all placement types that house foster children; v. Child-Parent and Sibling Visitation. DHS / CPS shall develop and implement policies

providing for adequate visitation between parents and children of those parents removed into foster care and siblings one or more of whom has been removed into foster care; Defendants shall develop and implement policies, which adequately provide for siblings being placed together in foster care and in adoptive or guardianship settings where those permanency goals are achieved; vi. Case and Service Planning. DHS / CPS shall take necessary action to provide adequate

and timely case plans and case reviews for children and adequate and timely services plans for their parents. vii. Quality Assurance/Data. DHS / CPS shall ensure that it has a quality assurance (QA)

system consistent with the standards of the COA and CWLA that is capable of measuring the quality of services provided to children in DHS / CPS custody; viii. Contract Monitoring and Performance-Based Monitoring. DHS / CPS shall ensure that an adequately staffed and trained contract monitoring unit is created within the states central office for purposes of overseeing and managing the purchased services of the agency; DHS / CPS shall develop and implement a performance-based contracting scheme with its private foster care providers to ensure the protection of children; ix. Foster Care Maintenance Rates. DHS / CPS shall determine and pay foster care

reimbursement rates that fully meet the elements set forth in 42 U.S.C section 675(4)(A);

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x.

Monitoring/Enforcement. The provisions of the Court order entered pursuant to Fed. R.

Civ. P. 65(d) shall be monitored by a neutral expert monitor appointed by the Court. In addition, the Court shall have continuing jurisdiction to oversee compliance with that order.

74. Award to Plaintiff Children the reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the prosecution of this action, including reasonable attorneys' fees, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1920 and 42 U.S.C. 1988, and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(e) and (h); and

75. Grant such other and further equitable relief as the Court deems just, necessary and proper to protect Plaintiff Children from further harm by Defendants.

DATED: 16 September anno domini 2011, Amended DATED: 22 September a.d. 2011 Respectfully submitted: By:

__________________________ James Renwick Manship, Sr. Next Friend Amos 5:15 Project: Hate evil and love the good. Remodel your Courts into True Halls of Justice. God and Country Foundation, Box 76, Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121-0076, Phone: 703-672-1776 Facsimile: 703-638-1146

Based on Pleading submitted by: CHILDRENS RIGHTS 330 Seventh Avenue, Fourth Floor New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 683-2210 Facsimile: (212) 683-4015

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TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION JURISDICTION, VENUE AND ASSIGNMENT PARTIES Named Plaintiffs A.O., A.B., N.B., O.B., T.B., Z.B., T.J., S.S. S., Named Plaintiffs, Collectively Next Friends Defendants CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS GENERAL ALLEGATIONS I. Defendants Are Causing Harm To Children In Foster Care A. Defendants Fail To Protect Children From Abuse And Neglect In Foster Care B. Defendants Unnecessarily Move Children Among Multiple Foster Care Placements C. Defendants Place Children In Unsuitable Or Inappropriate Foster Homes Unable To Properly Care For Them D. Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Permanent Families As Soon As Safely Possible 1. Defendants Fail To Safely Reunify Children With Their Families 2. Defendants Fail To Timely Place Children With Adoptive Families When Reunification Is Not Possible 3. Defendants Fail To Prepare Children Who Age Out Of Foster Care To Live As Independent Adults E. Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Essential Services 1. Defendants Fail To Provide Children With Adequate Visitation With Parents And Siblings, Damaging Their Family Relationships 2. Children Do Not Receive Adequate Medical, Dental And Mental Health Care 3. DHS / CPS Fails To Assure That Children Receive Adequate Educational Services

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II.

2. B. 1. 2. 3. 4. C. 1. 2. 3. D.

The Harms And Risk Of Harms Suffered By Children Result From Defendants Failure To Properly Manage The DHS / CPS Foster Care System A. Defendants Fail To Maintain An Adequately Staffed And Appropriately Trained Child Welfare Workforce 1. Caseworkers Carry Unmanageable Caseloads DHS / CPS Fails To Provide Adequate Training To Its Child Welfare Workforce Defendants Fail To Properly Manage DHS / CPSs Foster Care Placements DHS / CPS Fails To Recruit And Retain An Adequate Number Of Foster Homes DHS / CPS Fails To Timely And Appropriately Make Use Of Kin Placements DHS / CPS Does Not Appropriately Match Children To Foster Care Placements Capable Of Meeting Their Needs DHS / CPS Fails To Assure Foster Home Safety DHS / CPS Fails To Properly Develop And Implement Case Plans And Service Plans For Foster Children And Their Families DHS / CPS Fails To Sustain Family Ties And Support Reunification When It Is Safely Possible DHS / CPS Fails To Assure Timely Adoptions DHS / CPS Fails To Adequately Prepare Youth Aging Out To Live Independently As Adults DHS / CPS Fails To Access Available Federal Funding

COUNT I COUNT II COUNT III COUNT IV PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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