UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT                                 

 FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK                        

 -----------------------------------------X                    

 MARISOL A., by her next friend,          :                   

 Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr.;                        

 LAWRENCE B., by his next friend,         :                   

 Professor Mitchell I. Ginsberg;                              

 THOMAS C., by his next friend,           :                   

 Dr. Margaret T. McHugh; SHAUNA D.,                          

 by her next friend, Professor Kathryn    :                   

 Conroy; OZZIE E., by his next friends,                       

 Jill Chaifetz and Kim Hawkins;           :                  

 DARREN F. and DAVID F., by their                             

 next friends, Juan A. Figueroa and       :                   

 Rev. Marvin J. Owens; BILL G. and                            

 VICTORIA G., by their next friend,       :                   

 Sister Dolores Gartanutti; BRANDON H.,                       

 by his next friend, Thomas J. Moloney;   :                   

 and STEVEN I., by his next friend,                           

 Kevin Ryan, on their own behalf and on   :      COMPLAINT FOR

 behalf of and all others similarly              DECLARATORY AND

 situated,                                :      INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

                                                             

                      Plaintiffs,         :      CLASS ACTION     

                                                             

          --against--                     :      95-Civ. - ________

                                                             

 RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI, Mayor of the City   :                   

 of New York; MARVA LIVINGSTON HAMMONS,                       

 Administrator of the Human Resources     :                   

 Administration and Commissioner of the                       

 Department of Social Services of the     :                   

 City of New York; KATHRYN CROFT,                             

 Executive Deputy Commissioner of the     :                   

 City Child Welfare Administration of                         

 the City of New York; GEORGE E. PATAKI,  :                   

 Governor of the State of New York; and                       

 BRIAN J. WING, Acting Commissioner       :                   

 of the Department of Social Services                         

 of the State of New York,                :                   

                                                             

                      Defendants.         :                   

 -----------------------------------------X                   

















                        TABLE OF CONTENTS                          

                                                         

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1

                                                         

JURISDICTION AND VENUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6

                                                         

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7

                                                         

PARTIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

                                                         

    Named Plaintiffs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

                                                         

    Defendants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

                                                         

STRUCTURE OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM. . . . . . 15

                                                         

LEGAL FRAMEWORK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

                                                         

     The United States Constitution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

                                                         

     The Adoption Assistance and Child                      

     Welfare Act of 1980 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

                                                         

     The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. . . . . . . 22

                                                         

     The Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening,             

     Diagnosis and Treatment Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

                                                         

     The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 . . . . . . . . . . 24

                                                         

     The Americans With Disabilities Act and the            

     Rehabilitation Act of 1973. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

                                                         

     The New York State Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

                                                         

     The New York State Social Services Law,                

     Family Court Act and Regulations. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

                                                         

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS REGARDING NAMED PLAINTIFFS . . . . . . . . 27

                                                         

     Marisol A.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

                                                         

     Lawrence B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

                                                         

     Thomas C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

                                                         

     Shauna D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

                                                         

     Ozzie E.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

                                                         

     Darren F. and David F.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

                                                         

                                i                           

                                                         





     Bill G. and Victoria G. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

                                                                 

     Brandon H.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

                                                                 

     Steven I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

                                                                 

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS REGARDING SYSTEMIC DEFICIENCIES. . . . . . 62

                                                                 

     Protective Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

                                                                 

     Preventive Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

                                                                 

     Permanency Planning for Children. . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

                                                                 

     Assessments and Case Plans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

                                                                 

     Out-Of-Home Placements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

                                                                 

     Services to Foster Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

                                                                 

          Health Care and Related Services . . . . . . . . . . 76

                                                                 

          Educational Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

                                                                 

          Reunification Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

                                                                 

          Adoption Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

                                                                 

          Independent Living Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

                                                                 

     Caseworker Screening, Training,                                

     Retention and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

                                                                 

     Monitoring and Supervision of Private Agencies. . . . . . 87

                                                                 

     Administrative and Judicial Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . 90

                                                                 

     Information System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9l

                                                                 

     Ineffective Maximization of Resources . . . . . . . . . . 93

                                                                 

     Lack of Planning, and Prevailing Priorities . . . . . . . 94

                                                                 

HISTORY OF INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE                                 

AND DEFENDANTS' KNOWLEDGE OF THIS FAILURE. . . . . . . . . . . 96

                                                                 

CAUSES OF ACTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102

                                                                 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107



                                                                 

                               ii                             









                          INTRODUCTION



     1.   This is a civil rights action on behalf of all children



who are or will be in the custody of the New York City Child



Welfare Administration ("CWA"), and those children who, while not



in the custody of CWA, are or will be at risk of abuse or neglect



and whose status is known or should be known to CWA.  Defendants



in this action have systematically denied these children their



rights under the United States Constitution, federal statutes,



the New York State Constitution, state laws and regulations, and



the State plans provided to the federal government as a condition



of receiving federal funds to support the state's child welfare



system.



     2.   The child protection system supervised and operated by



defendants presents the opportunity to help vulnerable children



and give them a chance for a decent childhood.  Instead, and at



great public expense, defendants are producing new generations of



young people so damaged by their childhood that they will be



unable to function as independent, productive adults.



     3.   There are now approximately 43,000 children in foster



care in New York City.  Countless thousands more are the subjects



of abuse and neglect allegations.  Defendants' failure to protect



these children and provide them and their families with



appropriate, legally required services has jeopardized their



health, education, safety, essential sense of stability and



permanency, and developmental well-being.  In some instances, as



the recent death of Elisa Izquierdo has once again tragically



demonstrated, defendants' failures also jeopardize these



children's very lives.



     4.   New York City has perhaps the most dysfunctional child



welfare system in the country, despite the fact that New York



State spends more per capita than any other state on child



welfare and most of this expense is incurred in New York City.



Children in need of foster care placement often get turned away



at the door, while those children who wind up in placement spend



a substantial part of their childhood growing up in government



custody.



     5.   Despite the increasing needs of children, the foster



care placement rate in New York City is declining.  The average



length of stay in foster care for New York City children,



however, has increased seventy-five percent since 1988.  It is



now 4.2 years, as compared to a national average of 1.4 years.



     6.   As a direct result of defendants' pattern of actions



and inactions, New York City's child welfare system is rife with



systemic deficiencies that prevent it from meeting constitutional



and statutory requirements.  Among other failings:



        a.   defendants fail to appropriately accept reports of



     child abuse and neglect for investigation;



        b.   defendants fail to investigate those reports of



     child abuse and neglect that are accepted in the time and



     manner required by law;



        c.   defendants fail to provide mandated preplacement



     preventive services to enable children at risk of being





                               2







     placed in foster care to remain at home safely with their



     families whenever possible;



        d.   defendants fail to provide children in need of



     foster care placement with the least restrictive, most



     family-like placements designed to meet their individual



     needs;



        e.   defendants fail to provide foster children, their



     birth families and their foster families with the services



     necessary to ensure that the children do not deteriorate



     physically, psychologically, educationally or otherwise



     while in CWA's custody;



        f.   defendants fail to provide foster children



     suffering from disabilities, including but not limited to



     those with HIV and AIDS, with placements and services



     appropriate to their individual needs and necessary to allow



     these children fully to participate in the City's child



     welfare system;



        g.   defendants fail to provide foster children with



     appropriate case management, case plans and the services



     required by the case plans to ensure that they do not spend



     their entire childhoods in foster care, but rather are



     returned home or discharged to alternative permanent



     placements as quickly as possible;



        h.   defendants fail to provide children for whom



      adoption is appropriate with services necessary to ensure





                                3







     that they are adopted quickly and do not languish needlessly



     in foster care;



        i.   defendants fail to provide teenage children who



     will leave the foster care system to live on their own with



     services adequate to prepare them to live independently;



        j.   defendants fail to provide foster children with



     the administrative, judicial and dispositional reviews to



     which they are legally entitled, and with the services



     ordered at these reviews;



        k.   defendants fail to provide caseworkers with



     sufficient training, support and supervision to enable them



     to serve children and families in accordance with the law



     and reasonable professional standards; and



        l.   defendants fail to maintain an adequate



     information system to monitor, track and plan for children,



     and to manage the child welfare system in a manner that is



     both cost effective and complies with the law.



     7.   There has been extraordinary turnover in both the



leadership of the agency and the corps of front-line caseworkers.



Many CWA administrators are political appointees who lack the



skills, experience and support necessary to engage in appropriate



problem-solving or long-term, strategic planning on CWA's behalf.



They cannot and do not provide necessary, professional guidance



and support to their subordinates.  High level city officials



have not provided the leadership, support or pressure necessary



to ensure that the child welfare system complies with the law and





                               4







provides adequate protection and services to New York City's most



vulnerable children.



     8.   CWA contracts for the provision of the vast majority of



child welfare services with a series of private agencies.  While



CWA maintains legal responsibility for all children in the child



welfare system, it delegates much of the day-to-day provision of



services to these agencies.  These private agencies are not



properly monitored or supervised.  Some provide excellent



services; others do not.  CWA has no consistent, rigorous system



for ensuring that agencies are held accountable for providing



quality services in accordance with the law.  In many instances



CWA's own administrative requirements make it impossible for even



the most diligent agencies to perform necessary tasks in a manner



consistent with reasonable professional standards.



     9.   In recent years, all of these deficiencies have been



repeatedly documented in reports by the New York State



Comptroller's Office, the New York City Comptroller's Office, the



New York City Office of the Public Advocate, the Child Fatality



Review Panel, academicians and various other groups.  Defendants



have thus long been well aware of their systemic, ongoing failure



to adequately serve the children who depend on defendants for



their health, their safety, and sometimes for their very lives.



Although defendants have from time to time engaged in superficial



reform efforts, few if any meaningful changes have resulted.  In



fact, the lack of even basic reliable data regarding children in



the system renders it essentially impossible for defendants to





                               5







monitor these children and effect essential improvements.  The



deprivations experienced by New York City's most vulnerable



children thus have worsened significantly over time, leading to



the desperate conditions prevailing today.



     10.  And despite the inadequacy of New York City's child



welfare system today, current signs portend much worse.  CWA's



every recent "reform" effort has been aimed -- baldly and



exclusively -- not at providing improved services or even at



eliminating expensive waste and inefficiency caused by



mismanagement, but only at reducing expenditures for vulnerable



children and families.



                     JURISDICTION AND VENUE



     11.  This is an action pursuant to 42 United States Code 



1983, alleging violations of the United States Constitution,



federal statutes, the New York State Constitution, and state



statutes and regulations.  This court has jurisdiction over the



federal claims pursuant to 28 United States Code  1331 and



1343(a)(3), and over the state claims pursuant to the doctrine of



pendent, or supplemental, jurisdiction pursuant to 28 United



States Code  1367(a).



    12.  Venue in this district is proper pursuant to 28 United



States Code  1391(b) because the claims arise in the district.



Although the Child Welfare Administration -- the agency most



directly responsible for the pattern of failures alleged



herein -- is responsible for children from all five boroughs of



New York City, including those boroughs in the Eastern District





                               6







of New York, all of CWA's administrative and managerial functions



are operated out of its headquarters, which is located in the



Southern District of New York.



                    CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS



     13.  This action is properly maintained as a class action



pursuant to Rule 23 (a) & (b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil



Procedure.



     14. The class is defined as:



         All children who are or will be in the custody of

     the New York City Child Welfare Administration ("CWA"),

     and those children who, while not in the custody of

     CWA, are or will be at risk of neglect or abuse and

     whose status is known or should be known to CWA.



     15.  The plaintiff class is sufficiently numerous.  There



are approximately 43,000 children in the custody of CWA.  Tens of



thousands of additional children are victims of alleged child



abuse or neglect and are known or should be known to CWA.  In



fiscal year 1995, more than 75,000 New York City children were



the subjects of abuse or neglect allegations.  Upon information



and belief, in total the class numbers well over 100,000



children.



     16.  The questions of law and fact raised by the claims of



the named plaintiffs are common to and typical of those raised by



the claims of the putative class members.  Each named plaintiff



and each putative class member is in need of child welfare



services, must rely on defendants for the provision of those



services, and is subject to CWA's systemic deficiencies.



     17.  Common questions of fact include:





                               7







        a.   whether defendants fail to accept reports of child



     abuse and neglect for investigation as required by law;



        b.   whether defendants fail to investigate reports of



     child abuse and neglect in the manner and within the time



     periods required by law;



        c.   whether defendants fail to offer legally mandated



     services to children at risk of foster care placement to



     avert that risk;



        d.   whether defendants fail to provide children in



     their custody with safe, secure foster care placements that



     comply with national standards, as required by law;



        e.   whether defendants fail to provide foster children



     with legally required services necessary to prevent them



     from deteriorating physically and psychologically while in



     state custody, including but not limited to appropriate



     medical and educational services;



        f.   whether defendants fail to provide foster children



     with disabilities with placements and services appropriate



     to their particular needs, as required by law; and



        g.   whether defendants fail to create and implement



     appropriate, legally mandated plans for children to assure



     their proper care and their prompt placement in permanent



     homes.



     18.  Common questions of law include:





                               8







        a.   whether defendants' actions and inactions violate



     plaintiffs' rights under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth



     Amendments to the United States Constitution;



        b.   whether defendants' actions and inactions violate



     plaintiffs' rights under the Adoption Assistance and Child



     Welfare Act of 1980, 42 United States Code  620-628, 670-



     679a; the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, 42



     United States Code  5101-5106a; the Early and Periodic



     Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program of the Medicaid



     Act, 42 United States Code  1396a, 1396d(a) & (r); the



     Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, 42 United States Code 



     622(b)(9); the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 United



     States Code  12101 et seq.; and the Rehabilitation Act of



     1973, 29 United States Code  794, 794a; and



        c.   whether defendants' actions and inactions violate



     plaintiffs' rights under Article XVII of the New York State



     Constitution; the New York State Social Services Law,



     Articles 2, 3, 6 & 7; the New York State Family Court Act,



     Articles 6 & 10; and applicable State regulations codified



     at 18 N.Y.C.R.R.,  400-484.



     19.  The legal violations alleged by the named plaintiffs



are typical of those raised by the claims of each and every



member of the putative class.  The harms suffered by the named



plaintiffs are typical of the harms suffered by all children



similarly situated.





                               9







     20.  The named plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect



the interests of the class.  They are represented by attorneys



employed by Children's Rights, Inc., a privately-funded, non-



profit organization (formerly the Children's Rights Project of



the American Civil Liberties Union) with extensive experience in



complex class action litigation involving child welfare systems,



and by attorneys employed by Lawyers for Children, Inc., a non-



profit organization with extensive experience representing



thousands of individual New York City foster children each year.



Plaintiffs' counsel have the resources, expertise and experience



to prosecute this action.  Each named plaintiff child appears by



a next friend, and each next friend is sufficiently familiar with



the facts and circumstances of the child's situation to represent



the child's interests in this litigation.



     21.  Defendants have acted or refused to act on grounds



generally applicable to the class, making declaratory and



injunctive relief with respect to the class as a whole



appropriate and necessary.  Counsel for the plaintiffs know of no



conflicts among members of the class.



                             PARTIES



                         Named Plaintiffs



     22.  Plaintiff MARISOL A.1 is a five-year-old girl who



entered foster care a few months after her birth, and has





____________________

     1    To protect their confidentiality, the plaintiff

children in this action appear by pseudonym.





                               10







remained in foster care for much of her life.  She is in CWA's



custody, and resides in a foster home.



     23.  Marisol appears in this action by her next friend, Rev.



Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr.  Reverend Forbes is the Senior



Minister of The Riverside Church in Manhattan.



     24.  Plaintiff LAWRENCE B. is a seventeen-year-old boy who



entered foster care in January, 1995.  He is in CWA's custody and



has been placed in a group home, but is now an in-patient at Beth



Israel Medical Center where he is being treated for AIDS-related



illnesses.



     25.  Lawrence appears in this action by his next friend,



Mitchell I. Ginsberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia



University School of Social Work.



     26.  Plaintiff THOMAS C. is a fifteen-year-old boy who has



been in foster care since the age of seven.  He is in CWA's



custody, and has been placed in a group home.



     27.  Thomas appears in this action by his next friend, Dr.



Margaret T. McHugh.  Dr. McHugh is a Clinical Associate Professor



of Pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine, and



the Director of Adolescent Ambulatory Services and the Child



Protection Team at Bellevue Hospital Center.



     28.  Plaintiff SHAUNA D. is a two-year-old girl, about whom



CWA has received an abuse and neglect complaint that the agency



has failed to investigate.



     29.  Shauna appears in this action by her next friend,



Professor Kathryn Conroy.  Professor Conroy is Assistant Dean and





                              11







Director of Field Work at the Columbia University School of



Social Work.



     30.  Plaintiff OZZIE E. is a fourteen-year-old boy who



entered foster care in April, 1995.  He is in CWA's custody, and



now resides in a group home.



     31.  Ozzie appears in this action by his next friends, Jill



Chaifetz and Kim Hawkins.  Ms. Chaifetz is the Legal Director,



and Ms. Hawkins is a Staff Attorney, at The Door -- A Center of



Alternatives, a multi-service center for youth in Soho.



     32.  Plaintiff DARREN F. is a seven-year-old boy who has



been in foster care for virtually his entire life.  He is in the



custody of CWA, and is now in a residential treatment center.



     33.  Plaintiff DAVID F., Darren F.'s twin brother, has also



spent most of his life in foster care.  He is in the custody of



CWA, and is in the same residential treatment center as his twin



brother.



     34.  Darren and David appear in this action by their next



friends, Juan A. Figueroa and Reverend Marvin J. Owens.  Mr.



Figueroa is President and General Counsel of the Puerto Rican



Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Reverend Owens is the



Minister of the Williamsburg Christian Church in Brooklyn.



     35.  Plaintiff BILL G. is a fourteen-year-old boy who has



spent virtually his entire life in foster care.  He is now in the



custody of CWA, and lives in a foster home.



     36.  Plaintiff VICTORIA G., who is Bill G.'s sister, is a



ten-year-old girl who also has spent virtually her entire life in





                              12







foster care.  She is in the custody of CWA, and lives in the same



foster home as her brother Bill.



     37.  Bill and Victoria appear in this action by their next



friend Sister Dolores Gartanutti.  Sister Gartanutti the founder



and Director of Noah's Ark, an emergency shelter for adolescent



youth in Ozone Park, Queens, and Vice-President of the Empire



State Coalition of Youth and Family Services.



     38.  Plaintiff BRANDON H. is a seven-year-old boy who has



lived his entire life in foster care.  He is in the custody of



CWA, and lives in a foster home.



     39.  Brandon appears in this action by his next friend,



Thomas J. Moloney.  Mr. Moloney is a partner in the law firm of



Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and the Chairman of the



Committee on Legal Assistance of the Association of the Bar of



the City of New York.



     40.  Plaintiff STEVEN Z. is a sixteen-year-old boy who has



lived his entire life in foster care.  He is in the custody of



CWA and is assigned to a group home, but is now living primarily



on the streets.



     41.  Steven appears in this action by his next friend, Kevin



Ryan.  Mr. Ryan is the Deputy Director of the Legal Services



Office at Covenant House, a shelter for homeless and runaway



youth.



                           Defendants



     42.  Defendant RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI is the Mayor of the City



of New York, and is sued in his official capacity.  He is





                              13



   



responsible for ensuring that all New York City agencies comply



with all applicable federal and state law, pursuant to the



Charter of the City of New York, Ch. 1,  3 & 8.



     43.  Defendant MARVA LIVINGSTON HAMMONS is the Administrator



of the Human Resources Administration and the Commissioner of



Social Services of the City of New York, and is sued in her



official capacities.  She is responsible for the welfare of all



children in need of public assistance, care, support or



protection who reside in New York City; for overseeing the



administration of CWA; and for ensuring compliance by the New



York City Human Resources Administration ("HRA"), by CWA, and by



the private agencies with which CWA contracts with all applicable



federal and state law, pursuant to the Charter of the City of New



York, Ch. 24,  603-604, and New York City Executive Order No.



82 (1985).



     44.  Defendant KATHRYN CROFT is the Executive Deputy



Commissioner of the New York City Child Welfare Administration,



and is sued in her official capacity.  She is responsible for



CWA's policies, practices and operation, and for ensuring that



CWA and the private agencies with which it contracts comply with



all applicable federal and state law.



     45.  Defendant GEORGE E. PATAKI is the Governor of the State



of New York, and is sued in his official capacity.  He is



responsible for ensuring that government agencies in the state,



including the Department of Social Services, comply with all



applicable federal and state law, pursuant to Article IV,  3 of





                              14







the New York State Constitution and New York State Executive Law



 6.



     46.  Defendant BRIAN J. WING is the Acting Commissioner of



the New York State Department of Social Services, and is sued in



his official capacity.  He is responsible for the policies,



practices and operation of the New York State Department of



Social Services ("DSS"), and for ensuring DSS's compliance with



all relevant federal and state law, pursuant to New York State



Social Services Law  11, 12 & 17.



                 STRUCTURE OF THE NEW YORK CITY

                      CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM



     47.  New York City's child welfare system has an unusually



complex structure involving the City, the State and numerous



private agencies.



     48.  Children in foster care in New York City are in the



legal custody of the New York City Commissioner of Social



Services, who delegates her authority over them to CWA.2 CWA,



in turn, assigns the majority of these children's day-to-day care



to a group of approximately seventy private, "voluntary"



agencies.  However, by law, CWA always maintains legal custody



and legal responsibility for all foster children, and the private







____________________

     2    It is common practice in New York City to refer to

foster children as being "in the custody of CWA."  As CWA itself

follows this practice, this complaint will as well.





                              15







agencies act as CWA's agents in executing CWA's responsibilities



to the children and their families.3



     49.  Most children enter the foster care system after a



family court finds, pursuant to Article 10 of the Family Court



Act, that the child is in danger of abuse or neglect if left with



his/her family.  Additionally, some children are voluntarily



placed in foster care by their parents.  This voluntary placement



must be approved by the family court, and once in care these



children's status and treatment does not differ significantly



from that of children placed as a result of an Article 10



proceeding.



     50.  Once in foster care, most children are placed, by CWA,



with a voluntary agency.  That agency, in turn, places the



children in either a foster home (which is the least restrictive,



most family-like setting), a group home or a residential



treatment center ("RTC").  The latter are the most restrictive



settings, properly reserved only for older children with severe



behavioral problems.



     51.  For those foster children whom CWA places with private



agencies, the agency assumes "case planning" responsibility for







____________________

     3    Both New York State, through its Department of Social

Services ("DSS"), and HRA have legal responsibility for

overseeing CWA to ensure that CWA complies with all applicable

federal and state laws.  Moreover, DSS has a further

responsibility to ensure that CWA complies with all elements of

the state plans which DSS signs as a condition of receiving child

welfare funds from the United States Department of Health and

Human Services.  The State also provides funding to the City

which is spent on child welfare services.





                              16







the child.  As part of this responsibility, the agency must



complete case plans -- known as uniform case records, or



"UCRs" -- for each child, describing the child's status, the



child's physical and mental health needs, and whether the child's



permanency goal is family reunification, adoption or independent



living.  The agency case plan must also list the services



necessary to meet the needs identified in the UCRs, as well as



services necessary to help the child achieve his/her permanency



goal.  Finally, the agency must provide, or ensure the provision



of, all the services deemed necessary in the case plan.



     52.  CWA maintains "case management" responsibility for



these children.  Such responsibility includes: reviewing the UCRs



to make sure they are properly and professionally completed;



ensuring that each child has an appropriate permanency goal, and



is making progress toward that goal; overseeing and supervising



the private agencies to ensure that all necessary services are



actually being provided; and ensuring that agency activities



conform with applicable laws and regulations.



     53.  In addition to children whom CWA places with private



agencies, CWA also provides foster care directly for



approximately 12,000 children, through its Division of Foster



Care Services ("DFCS").  In such cases, CWA has both case



planning and case management responsibility.



     54.  Finally, throughout every child's stay in foster care,



the child's status must be periodically reviewed to ensure that



the child is not lost in the system or allowed to drift without





                              17







progress towards a permanency goal.  CWA is obligated to schedule



administrative and judicial reviews for this purpose, and to



provide information sufficient to support reasoned



decision-making at the hearings.



     55.  Beyond caring for foster children, both the City and



State have certain legal obligations to protect all New York City



children from abuse and neglect.  To this end, DSS is legally



required to maintain a telephone "hotline" for receiving



allegations of child abuse or neglect.  CWA, in turn, is legally



mandated to commence an investigation of such reports within



twenty-four hours, to complete an initial investigation within



seven days, and to complete a full investigation within sixty



days.



     56.  When reports of suspected abuse or neglect are found to



be "indicated" -- i.e., when some credible evidence of the



alleged abuse or neglect exists -- CWA must either provide



necessary services to the family to enable the child to safely



remain at home, or, when that is not appropriate, must remove the



child from the home and place the child in foster care.



                         LEGAL FRAMEWORK



     57.  Plaintiffs allege that defendants are violating their



rights under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the



United States Constitution; the Adoption Assistance and Child



Welfare Act of 1980 ("Adoption Assistance Act"), 42 United States



Code  620-27, 670-79a; the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment



Act ("CAPTA"), 42 United States Code  5101-06a; the Early and





                              18







Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment ("EPSDT") program of



the Medicaid Act, 42 United States Code  1396a, 1396d(a) & (r);



the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, 42 United States Code 



622(b)(9); the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 United



States Code  12101 et seq.; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973



("Rehabilitation Act"), 29 United States Code  794, 794a;



Article XVII of the New York State Constitution; New York State



Social Services Law, Articles 2, 3, 6 & 7; the New York State



Family Court Act, Articles 6 & 10; the state regulations



governing the child welfare system, 18 N.Y.C.R.R.,  400-484;



and the state plans provided to the federal Department of Health



and Human Services as a condition of receiving federal funds for



the operation of New York State's child welfare program, of which



New York City's child welfare program is a part.



     58.  Taken together, these statutes and constitutional



standards establish a broad range of specific duties that must be



followed by defendants in administering New York City's child



welfare system.



                 The United States Constitution



     59.  The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States



Constitution guarantees to each child in state custody the right



to be free from harm.  That right encompasses the right to



treatment in accordance with reasonable professional standards,



and the right to the services necessary to prevent children from



deteriorating physically, psychologically or otherwise while in



state care, including but not limited to safe, secure foster care





                              19







placements, appropriate monitoring and supervision, case planning



and management, permanency planning and medical, psychiatric,



psychological and educational services.



     60.  The First and Ninth Amendments guarantee the rights to



privacy and family integrity, and grant children the right not to



be removed from their families absent a showing of compelling



necessity.



     The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980



     61.  The federal Adoption Assistance Act requires defendants



to implement and operate in New York City:



        a.   a preplacement preventive services program



     designed to help children remain with their families, when



     appropriate;



        b.   a service program designed to help children, when



     appropriate, return to the families from which they have



     been removed, and when this is not possible to be placed for



     adoption or legal guardianship; and



        c.   an information system from which the status,



     demographic characteristics, location and goal of every



     foster child can readily be determined.



     62.  The Adoption Assistance Act and relevant regulations



further require that defendants take the steps necessary to



ensure that:



        a.   foster family homes and child care institutions



     are licensed, relicensed and operated in conformity with



     appropriate national standards;





                              20







        b.   each child in need of a foster care placement is



     placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting



     available, consistent with her best interests and individual



     needs;



        c.   each foster child is provided with a written case



     plan, containing specified elements, that is reviewed and



     updated at specified intervals, and that services are



     provided in accordance with that plan;



        d.   each foster child receives proper care while in



     state custody and that she, her parents and her foster



     parents receive the services necessary to address her needs



     and to assure her return home or her referral to an



     alternative permanent placement;



        e.   the status of each foster child is reviewed once



     every six months either administratively or judicially to



     determine the continuing necessity for and appropriateness



     of placement, the extent of compliance with the child's case



     plan and the extent of progress which has been made toward



     alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement



     in foster care; and



        f.   each foster child receives a dispositional hearing



     by a family court no later than 18 months after her original



     placement and periodically thereafter to determine and



     evaluate the status of and plan for the child.



     63.  Under the Adoption Assistance Act, states receive



certain federal reimbursements so long as they have a plan





                              21







approved by the federal Department of Health and Human Services



and comply with its terms.  The State of New York receives



federal funding under the Act and has submitted such a plan,



certifying to the federal government that it provides the child



welfare services required by the Act.  Children eligible for



those child welfare services are the intended beneficiaries of



the State plan.



     64.  The Plan incorporates provisions of the New York State



Social Services Law, the New York State Family Court Act, and



each statute's implementing regulations.  These incorporated



provisions have the force of law and are binding on DSS, HRA and



CWA.



          The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act



     65.  The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act



requires that defendants take the steps necessary to ensure,



among other things, that:



        a.   a system is in place to receive allegations of



     suspected child abuse or neglect;



        b.   reports of suspected child abuse or neglect are



     investigated promptly, and immediate steps are taken to



     protect abused or neglected children and children in danger



     of abuse or neglect; and



        c.   DSS, HRA and CWA have in effect the procedures,



     training, personnel programs, services and facilities to



     adequately address cases of child abuse and neglect.





                              22







     66.  New York State receives federal funding under this



statute, and both the State and New York City are bound by its



terms.



           The Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening,

                Diagnosis and Treatment Program



     67.  The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and



Treatment ("EPSDT") portion of the federal Medicaid Act is



designed to ensure that all Medicaid-eligible children up to the



age of twenty-one receive comprehensive physical, developmental



and mental health care.  All foster children in New York City are



eligible for Medicaid, and are therefore entitled to receive the



comprehensive health care required by the EPSDT program.



     68.  And because foster children are in the legal custody of



CWA, it is CWA's obligation to ensure that these children



actually receive the full panoply of health services under EPSDT,



including but not limited to:



        a.   periodic comprehensive health screenings, at age-



     appropriate intervals deemed proper by a board of medical



     professionals, including general physical examinations, eye



     examinations, dental examinations, hearing examinations,



     lead blood tests, vaccinations or boosters, and mental



     health examinations, all performed by competent medical



     professionals; and



        b.   any and all follow-up physical or mental health



     service or treatment deemed necessary to treat or address



     any condition diagnosed at any periodic screening, performed



     in a timely manner by competent medical professionals,



   

                              23







     regardless of whether any such treatment or service is



     otherwise covered by the New York State Medicaid plan.



              The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994



     69.  The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 requires that



public agencies engage in aggressive efforts to recruit potential



foster and adoptive parents who reflect the racial and ethnic



diversity of the children for whom such foster and adoptive



placements are needed.



             The Americans with Disabilities Act and

                  The Rehabilitation Act of 1973



     70.  The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and section



504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination



against individuals with handicaps or disabilities in federally



funded programs.  These laws require that programs such as child



welfare and foster care programs be administered to enable



children with handicaps or disabilities to participate fully in,



and receive all the benefits of, the programs.  The protections



of the ADA extend not only to children with physical



disabilities, but also to children with mental health problems,



or cognitive medical disabilities, including children with AIDS.



                 The New York State Constitution



     71.  Article XVII of the New York State Constitution



guarantees the right to appropriate aid to all persons in New



York State deemed to be "needy," and the right of all persons so



designated to not have this aid arbitrarily or capriciously



denied.  Abused or neglected children and foster children are





                              24







needy, and are thus entitled to a variety of services delineated



in New York State statutes and regulations.



             The New York State Social Services Law,

              Family Court Act and State Regulations



     72.  State law pertaining to the provision of child welfare



services is set forth in the New York State Social Services Law,



the New York State Family Court Act, and applicable regulations.



These laws require, among other things, that defendants take the



steps necessary to:



        a.   operate a system for receiving allegations of



     child abuse or neglect; initiate investigations into reports



     of child abuse and neglect within twenty-four hours; conduct



     a full investigation, including a home visit with a face-to-



     face interview with the child, and obtain information from



     collateral sources such as schools, hospitals, police and



     social service agencies; complete a preliminary written



     report within seven days to determine whether the child is



     in immediate danger of serious harm; make a final



     determination within sixty days as to whether the allegation



     is indicated or unfounded;



        b.   take a child into protective custody if the child



     is determined to be in imminent danger, and initiate a



     judicial proceeding by the next business day;



        c.   provide each child determined to be eligible for



     pre-placement services, or services while in foster care,



     with a comprehensive needs assessment and service plan



     (commonly known as a uniform case record or "UCR"),





                              25







     including an initial risk assessment and service plan with



     all required elements within thirty days from the case



     initiation date, a comprehensive assessment and service plan



     with all required elements within ninety days from the case



     initiation date, and a reassessment and service plan review



     with all required elements within six months from the case



     initiation date and every six months thereafter;



        d.   identify and provide each child and family with



     services in accordance with the child's comprehensive



     assessment and service plan, including but not limited to



     case planning and case management services, casework



     contacts, day care services, homemaker services, family



     planning services, home management services, clinical



     services, parent aide services, parent training services,



     transportation services, emergency cash services, emergency



     shelter services, housing services, and intensive family



     preservation services;



        e.   ensure that the type or level of foster care



     placement in which a child resides is appropriate to the



     individualized needs of the child and family;



        f.   adequately investigate potential foster homes in



     the manner required by law before granting licenses or



     certificates to foster parents and placing children in their



     homes, and appropriately evaluate and review the foster



     homes and families before renewing their licenses or



     certificates;





                              26







        g.   supervise, visit and inspect foster homes on a



     regular basis after licensing them;



        h.   ensure that all foster children achieve permanency



     either by being returned to their families at the earliest



     date on which it is safe to do so, or, when reunification is



     not appropriate, by terminating parental rights and



     arranging for adoption as soon as possible;



        i.   provide children placed in foster care pursuant to



     FCA Article 10, with periodic judicial reviews at least



     every twelve months; provide children voluntarily placed in



     foster care with reviews at least every 18 months; provide



     children who have been freed for adoption and placed in a



     pre-adoptive home unit for whom no adoption petition has



     been filed with reviews at least every twelve months;



     provide children who have been freed for adoption but not



     placed in prospective adoptive homes with reviews every six



     months; provide all foster children with the dispositional



     hearing required by federal law within 18 months after



     entering placement; and



        j.   promulgate the policies and secure the personnel



     necessary to fulfill all federal and state mandates in



     accordance with reasonable professional standards.



         FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS REGARDING NAMED PLAINTIFFS



Marisol A.



     73.  Plaintiff Marisol A., who is five years old, spent



several months of her life locked in a closet, so badly starved





                              27







that she ate her own feces, black plastic bags and a cardboard



shoebox.  Her mother let her out of the closet to administer



beatings which knocked out her front teeth and fractured a tibia,



and to burn her with cigars and scalding water.  All of this



abuse occurred despite multiple reports to CWA of Marisol's dire



condition.  CWA failed to respond to these reports of suspected



abuse as required by applicable law and reasonable professional



standards.



     74.  Marisol was born on August 15, 1990, only two days



after her mother, Ms. A., was arrested on charges of drug



dealing.  Due to her incarceration, Ms. A. made arrangements for



a neighbor, Ms. C., to take informal custody of Marisol until her



release.



     75.  Although this was intended to be a temporary



arrangement while Ms. A. remained in jail, upon her release Ms.



A. decided that she did not wish to resume custody of Marisol,



and voluntarily signed her into foster care.  As a result, Ms. C.



applied for, and received, certification as a foster parent.



Marisol remained in Ms. C's home from August 23, 1990, until



February, 1994.



     76.  During her three and one-half years in Ms. C.'s care,



CWA's permanency goal for Marisol was reunification with her



mother.  CWA maintained this goal without any reasonable basis to



believe that such a goal was appropriate for Marisol or in her



best interest, and took no steps to implement the goal.  CWA



never sought or obtained Ms. A's cooperation or participation in





                              28







planning for Marisol.  In fact, Ms. A. and her boyfriend were



still dealing drugs in their home.  And although Ms. A. and Ms. C



lived in the same neighborhood, Ms. A visited Marisol only eight



times during the entire three and one-half years of her first



placement, and only at the insistence of Ms. C.  Ms. A. missed



several of Marisol's birthday parties, despite Ms. C's repeated



invitations.  CWA knew or should have known all of this.



     77.  At this point, there were adequate legal grounds for



CWA to file a petition seeking termination of Ms. A.'s parental



rights, but CWA did not do this, and failed to take any



reasonable steps to reassess the appropriateness of Marisol's



permanency goal of reunification.



     78.  At some point during Marisol's placement, Ms. A.



decided to seek the child's return, though she told her sister



and others that she did not love Marisol.



     79.  In January, 1994, CWA allowed Ms. A. to have weekend



visits with Marisol.  After every visit, Marisol returned to Ms.



C.'s home filthy and unfed.  She reported that there was no bed



for her to sleep on in Ms. A.'s apartment, and that there was a



lot of violence in the house.  Police officers were sent to Ms.



A.'s home on several occasions to settle domestic disputes.



Despite being informed about this by Ms. C., Marisol's CWA



caseworker failed to investigate Ms. A.'s home or to reevaluate



the appropriateness of unsupervised visits.  Instead, the



caseworker merely told Ms. C. that this was not her concern.





                              29







     80.  In February, 1994, CWA returned Marisol to Ms. A.'s



custody without conducting a reasonable investigation to



determine whether she would be safe or whether Ms. A. could



provide adequate care and supervision for her.  CWA had reason to



believe that Ms. A. and her live-in boyfriend were still dealing



drugs in the home, and that Ms. A. had severe psychiatric



problems.  Ms. A.'s sister reported that Ms. A. had a long



history of "bizarre behavior," including eating cigarette butts



and running naked through the streets.  CWA nonetheless



discharged Marisol to Ms. A.'s home, and failed to provide any



counseling or other services to the family.  Instead, although



CWA knew or should have known of Ms. A.'s drug dealing and



troubled history, CWA took no steps to supervise or monitor Ms.



A.'s home to ensure that Marisol was safe and being adequately



cared for.



     81.  Eight days after the discharge, Ms. A. brought Marisol



to St. Luke's Hospital with vaginal bleeding and infection.  St.



Luke's then mistakenly called Ms. C., her former foster mother,



to question her about these injuries.  Fearing for Marisol's



safety, Ms. C. wrote a letter to a CWA supervisor on April 1,



1994, reporting that Marisol was at risk of being abused or



neglected.  CWA did not investigate these allegations, and did



not follow up on the report that Marisol had been hospitalized



for vaginal bleeding.  Instead, CWA wrote to Ms. C. stating that



they had met with Marisol at the field office, had spoken with





                              30







her mother, and had concluded that both mother and daughter were



"adjusting well" to the situation.



     82.  In October, 1994, Ms. A.'s own sister reported to CWA



that Ms. A. was abusing Marisol.  Again, CWA failed to conduct an



adequate investigation of the allegation.  When a child



protective services worker finally visited the A. home, Ms. A.



stated that Marisol was not available because she was visiting



relatives in the Dominican Republic.  Rather than confirm the



truth of the story, the protective service worker left without



seeing Marisol, and concluded that the allegation was unfounded.



     83.  But Marisol was not in the Dominican Republic.  She was



locked in a closet.



     84.  Marisol spent several months confined by her mother in



a closet, until she was discovered in May, 1995.  Her discovery



came not by CWA, but through the chance arrival of a housing



inspector.  This inspector saw an older boy run up and hit her on



the head with full force.  The inspector became suspicious when



he noticed that Marisol did not react to this abuse with a shout



or a cry, but merely blinked.  Recognizing the signs of abuse



from his previous career as a police officer, the housing



inspector immediately notified the police.



     85.  When police officers arrived at Ms. A.'s apartment,



they found a four-year-old girl lying naked beneath a urine-



soaked sheet, shell-shocked from living in a closet, and starved



so severely that her stomach was distended.  When subsequently



given a laxative to cleanse her system, Marisol excreted pieces





                              31







of black plastic bags, and it was later revealed that she had



been forced to eat her own feces, garbage bags and cardboard



boxes in order to survive.



     86.  Doctors at Harlem Hospital reported that Marisol was so



severely abused that "no part of her body [was] unmarked."  She



had a splintered tibia; bruises covered most of her body; her



front teeth were knocked out; she had been sexually molested; her



feet "looked cooked" because of the boiling water that had been



poured onto her; much of her body was covered with burns from



cigars; and she had been pulled by her head so hard that large



clumps of hair were missing.  It was later reported that the



housing inspector and police officers had rescued Marisol in the



nick of time, as "her body couldn't take any more."



     87.  Ms. A. and her boyfriend were indicted on charges of



first degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.



     88.  In May, 1995, upon Marisol's release from Harlem



Hospital, Ms. C. took custody of her and was recertified as her



foster parent.  Marisol was so disfigured by her abuse that Ms.



C. -- who had raised the little girl for more than three years --



could barely recognize her.



     89.  Ms. C. has informed CWA that she is anxious to adopt



Marisol.  However, CWA has not informed Ms. C. of Marisol's



permanency planning goal, and has taken no steps to initiate the



home study to determine whether Ms. C. can be approved as a pre-



adoptive parent.  Because CWA has not begun the process of



terminating Ms. A.'s parental rights and freeing Marisol for





                              32







adoption, Marisol remains in jeopardy of being returned to her



mother or removed from the foster family that has provided the



only safety and stability she has ever known.  Upon information



and belief, CWA has neither developed nor begun the



implementation of a permanency plan that complies with reasonable



professional standards for this already damaged child.



     90.  In addition to her severe physical injuries, Marisol



has also suffered significant psychological trauma, and currently



needs intensive counseling and other support services.  Although



Ms. C. began requesting that CWA provide her with a Medicaid card



for Marisol in May, 1995, she only recently received one.



Moreover, CWA has failed to ensure that Marisol receives



counseling necessary to address the sexual trauma she endured



while in her mother's home.  As a result, Marisol exhibits



behavior and language inappropriate for a child her age.



     91.  Defendants have violated Marisol's constitutional and



statutory rights by failing to protect her from harm; by failing



to investigate reports of suspected abuse or neglect as required



by law and reasonable professional standards; by failing to



provide services and supervision necessary to support and/or



monitor her discharge from foster care; and by failing to develop



and implement an appropriate permanency plan.



     92.  As a result of the defendants' actions and inactions,



Marisol has been and continues to be irreparably harmed.  Marisol



and her foster family do not know whether her goal is adoption or





                              33







reunification with her mother, and as a result she lives in a



constant state of terrifying uncertainty.



Lawrence B.



     93.  Plaintiff Lawrence B. is in the final stages of AIDS-



related illness.  Despite this fact, CWA has consistently failed



to provide him with an appropriate placement, to ensure that he



receives necessary services, or to do anything to help this young



man cope with his life-threatening illness.



     94.  In fact, CWA is either so oblivious or so indifferent



to Lawrence's needs that, in documents which CWA recently filed



with the court, CWA described Lawrence as doing well and



recommended that he receive training in preparation for a



transition to independent living.



     95.  Lawrence first entered the foster care system pursuant



to a voluntary agreement signed by his aunt on January 26, 1995,



when he was seventeen years old.  His mother had died of AIDS in



or around 1985, and his father had died years before of unknown



causes.  Lawrence's aunt, his primary caretaker, could no longer



care for him.



     96.  CWA failed to offer services so Lawrence could remain



with his aunt and, after assuming custody of Lawrence, failed to



properly evaluate his medical needs in a timely fashion.  Despite



clear indication that he was ill, CWA did not secure a complete



medical assessment for nearly two months.  In fact, Lawrence was



severely ill with AIDS.  The absence of a proper assessment made





                              34







it impossible for CWA to obtain a suitable placement which could



provide for Lawrence's individualized needs.



     97.  Lawrence was initially placed in a diagnostic facility.



Although such facilities are intended to be temporary placements



for ninety-day diagnoses, CWA left Lawrence at this diagnostic



center for seven months, although CWA knew or should have known



that this placement was inappropriate for him.  While at this



facility, Lawrence was permitted to miss school classes and stay



out with his peers -- where his medical condition could not be



monitored or treated.  As a result of the absence of adequate



supervision, Lawrence's condition may have deteriorated more



quickly than it would have if he had been in an appropriate



placement.



     98.  Sometime in August, 1995, CWA attempted knowingly to



place Lawrence in an inappropriate group home which did not have



a medical staff to provide the type of supervision which he



needed.  At no time during its discussions with the potential



placement agency did CWA mention that Lawrence had AIDS.  When



the agency specifically asked for Lawrence's medical records, CWA



stated that it did not have these records, and withheld crucial



information.  The potential placement subsequently fell through.



     99.  On or about September 1, 1995, CWA transferred Lawrence



to a private agency group home for teens whose goal is



independent living.  In transferring Lawrence's case to this



agency, CWA sent the agency inaccurate medical records indicating



that Lawrence was completely healthy.





                              35







     100. In a letter dated September 19, 1995, to Craig Longley,



Assistant Deputy Commissioner of CWA, the Associate Executive



Director of the private agency stated that in transferring



Lawrence's case a CWA case manager handed a package of medicine



to an agency employee and "indicated that the medicine was for



the youngster's ear infection and that he was also taking calcium



pills."  No other substantive medical information was provided



regarding Lawrence.  "We are extremely concerned," the letter



continued, "that our agency was not provided with adequate



medical information about the health status of this youngster



which could have seriously compromised his health . . . ."



     101. CWA knew or should have known that this agency did not



have the capability to supervise children with symptomatic AIDS.



Even when the agency notified CWA that it could not provide for



Lawrence's increasing medical needs, and that he needed hospice



care, CWA failed to transfer Lawrence to an appropriate



placement.  Instead, CWA merely told the agency that the group



home staff should take Lawrence to the hospital when necessary.



     102. Despite his severe medical condition, CWA continues to



ignore Lawrence's medical needs.



     103. Lawrence has been hospitalized intermittently for AIDS-



related illnesses since being placed at the group home.  Rather



than transferring him to a hospice that could provide him with



the services he desperately needs, CWA continues to insist that



Lawrence be returned upon each discharge from the hospital to the



group home which cannot meet his needs.





                              36







     104. CWA has neglected to ensure that Lawrence is provided



with necessary psychological services.  Because the group home is



not accustomed to handling children in Lawrence's condition, it



has failed to provide Lawrence with counseling to prepare him for



the next phase of his illness.  As a result, Lawrence is still in



partial denial, and, sadly, has been unable to pursue the issues



of closure that are associated with terminal illness.



     105. CWA has also failed to develop a case plan for Lawrence



that has any relevance to his condition or his individual needs.



In a recent petition for review of his foster care status, CWA



recommended that foster care be continued in the current



placement, because "[c]hild is doing well in agency's group home"



and is receiving "vocational planning for discharge to



independent living."  The petition contains absolutely no mention



of his severely deteriorating health.  In fact, Lawrence's



medical status is now so grave that he will never be capable of



living on his own -- a fact CWA cruelly ignores.



     106. Lawrence will soon reach his eighteenth birthday, and



CWA still maintains a goal of "independent living" for him which



could result in his being left to die on the streets or, at best,



to spend his remaining days in a group home which has admitted



that it cannot provide him with the level of medical care and



counselling he requires.



     107. Defendants have violated Lawrence's constitutional and



statutory rights by failing to protect him from harm; by failing



to provide him with proper care, even though CWA knew that he was





                              37







not receiving adequate care; by failing to provide an appropriate



placement and sufficient services; by failing to conduct an



adequate assessment to determine whether placement in the group



home was appropriate; by failing to develop and implement an



appropriate case plans that contain the required elements, in



accordance with the law and reasonable professional standards;



and by failing to implement the case plan.



     108. As a result of defendants' actions and inactions,



Lawrence has been and continues to be irreparably harmed and



deprived of an opportunity to spend his remaining days in an



appropriate environment which can stabilize his medical condition



and provide for his emotional needs.



Thomas C.



     109. Plaintiff Thomas C. is fifteen years old and has been



in foster care since the age of seven.  Defendants have failed --



and are continuing to fail -- to take necessary steps to provide



Thomas with a permanent home and a way out of foster care.



Moreover, they have failed even to ensure Thomas's physical



safety while in foster care, and, in the past eight years, Thomas



has been repeatedly physically and sexually abused.



     110. Thomas was born on March 21, 1980.  His mother was a



drug abuser who was unable to care for him, and during his first



two years of life Thomas lived with numerous caretakers.  At the



age of two, Thomas went to live with his grandmother, but three



years later his mother forcibly took him back.  For the next



year-and-a-half, Thomas lived with his mother in squalid





                              38







conditions, where he was physically and psychologically abused.



Thomas's grandmother ultimately regained custody of Thomas, but,



unable to care for him, on July 22, 1987, she placed him in



foster care.



     111. CWA failed to provide an appropriate placement or



develop an adequate plan for Thomas.  Instead, over the next two



years Thomas was moved through four placements, including a



diagnostic center and Bellevue Hospital, where -- at the age of



seven -- he was treated for suicidal ideation.



     112. On July 25, 1989, CWA placed Thomas at a residential



treatment center ("RTC").  CWA still failed to develop an



adequate plan for Thomas or to take any steps to secure a



permanent placement for him.  Although it was clear that Thomas's



mother would never be able to provide a home for him, CWA did not



ensure that necessary steps were taken to free Thomas for



adoption, or to seek an adoptive home for him in a timely manner.



Indeed, Thomas's parents' rights were not terminated until July



31, 1993, a full six years after he entered foster care.  And



even then, CWA failed to take any steps to seek or secure a



permanent home for Thomas.



     113. During his time at the RTC, Thomas became friendly with



a minister, Reverend D., who was employed there.  In 1993,



Reverend D. moved to South Carolina and offered to take Thomas



with him.  In the absence of any alternative placement for



Thomas, CWA approved Thomas's placement with Reverend D., and



Thomas was sent to South Carolina.  Upon information and belief,





                              39







CWA did not ensure that the mandates of the Interstate Compact on



the Placement of Children were followed.



     114. After Thomas was transferred to the home of Reverend



D., CWA failed to ensure that Thomas's placement was properly



monitored, although Thomas remained in CWA's legal custody and



such monitoring is legally required.  CWA also failed to ensure



that South Carolina officials were supervising the placement, as



required by the Interstate Compact.  Reverend D. was failing to



return telephone calls from caseworkers at Thomas's New York RTC,



was not cooperating with the RTC, and would not confirm that he



had obtained necessary counseling for Thomas -- all of which was



or should have been known to CWA.  CWA took no steps to determine



whether the placement was appropriate, or whether Thomas was even



safe.



     115. In fact, Thomas was being sexually abused by Reverend



D.  CWA only learned of this fact when Thomas ran away to the



police, who confirmed his allegation and returned him to the RTC



in New York on June 9, 1994.



     116. As a result of all he has experienced, and the lack of



stability and permanence in his life, Thomas has experienced --



and continues to experience -- severe, multiple problems since



his return to the RTC.  The RTC's records indicate that he has



been physically threatened and attacked by other boys, and that



on two occasions he has attempted suicide by jumping off the roof



of a building.  But CWA has taken no steps to determine whether



the RTC is an appropriate placement for Thomas.  And although





                              40







Thomas is legally freed for adoption, CWA has taken no steps to



seek or secure an appropriate adoptive home for him.



     117. Earlier this year, Thomas ran away from the RTC.  He



lived in various locations -- including sleeping on the roofs of



buildings -- and ultimately ended up living with a drug dealer



and the dealer's girlfriend.  The drug dealer physically abused



Thomas, who subsequently returned to the RTC, walking all the way



from Greenwich Village to the RTC in Westchester County.



     118. Although Thomas now has severe psychological problems,



he is reluctant to participate in counseling at the RTC because



he fears that his problems would not be held in confidence and



believes that the staff and residents already know about his



sexual abuse in South Carolina.  Although the RTC has been



ordered by the family court to provide counseling from an outside



agency for Thomas, it has failed to do so, and CWA has taken no



steps to ensure that such counseling is provided to this



desperately unhappy and possibly suicidal young man.



     119. The defendants have violated Thomas's constitutional



and statutory rights by failing to protect him from harm; by



failing to provide appropriate planning and services that would



provide him with the opportunity to be placed in a permanent



home, as required by law and reasonable professional standards;



by failing to obtain and supervise an appropriate placement; by



failing to provide services necessary to prevent him from



deteriorating while in foster care; and by failing to protect him



from physical and psychological harm while in foster care.





                              41







     120. As a result of defendants' actions and inactions,



Thomas has been and is being irreparably harmed.  Thomas is



growing up without a permanent family, has been physically and



sexually abused while in defendant CWA's custody, is being



subjected to the uncertainty of foster care status, and is being



deprived of an opportunity for healthy development and a normal



childhood.



Shauna D.



     121. Plaintiff Shauna D. is two years old and lives with her



drug-addicted mother, Ms. D.  Despite receiving reports



indicating that Shauna is in danger of serious abuse or neglect,



CWA has failed to investigate these reports in the manner



prescribed by law.  CWA's failure is especially troublesome here



because Ms. D. has already lost custody of her six other children



after findings that she abused or neglected them, and because Ms.



D. admittedly continues to require drug treatment.



     122. On September 12, 1995, Ms. M., a friend of Ms. D. who



had been caring for Shauna, filed for formal custody of Shauna.



At a hearing on October 13, 1995, Shauna's law guardian informed



the court that Shauna was living with Ms. M., but that Ms. M. was



not financially able to care for her.  The law guardian further



informed the court that Ms. D. was not helping to feed or clothe



Shauna, and was an active drug user.  Finally, the law guardian



informed the court that Shauna had not received necessary



immunization shots.





                              42







     123. The court directed Shauna's law guardian to call in a



report of suspected abuse or neglect to CWA regarding Shauna.  On



October 13, 1995, Shauna's law guardian called in the report to



CWA, but no action was taken.



     124. On November 5, 1995, Ms. D. forcibly took Shauna from



Ms. M.'s home.  Ms. M. later saw Ms. D. on the street taking



drugs.  As of this date, CWA had still taken no action upon the



report of suspected abuse or neglect.  In fact, several weeks



after being assigned to investigate this case, the child



protective services worker had failed even to contact either



Shauna or Ms. M., and was unaware that six of Ms. D.'s other



children had been removed from her after findings of abuse or



neglect.



     125. On November 9, 1995, twenty-six days after the first



report of suspected abuse or neglect -- and after four follow-up



calls to CWA by Shauna's law guardian -- a CWA caseworker finally



contacted Ms. D. to begin investigating the allegations.  CWA's



"investigation," however, consisted solely of a telephone call to



Ms. D. in which Ms. D. stated that she was trying to get into a



drug treatment program.  The caseworker failed to contact or



interview Shauna or Ms. M., and ignored Ms. D.'s failure to



obtain necessary immunization shots for Shauna.



     126. On November 14, 1995, the CWA caseworker took Ms. D. to



register at an residential drug treatment program which would



allow Shauna to live with her during treatment.  Although the



caseworker had knowledge that Ms. D would not be able to enter





                              43







the program for at least a week, the caseworker made no



provisions for Shauna's care or safety during this week-long



interval.  As winter arrived, the caseworker also continued to



fail to arrange for Shauna to receive her immunization shots.



     127. On November 21, 1995, Shauna's law guardian again



called the CWA caseworker.  The caseworker stated that he did not



know whether Ms. D. had, in fact, entered the drug treatment



program.  Nevertheless, despite the failure to conduct a proper



investigation as required by law, the caseworker stated that the



report of suspected abuse or neglect would be determined



unfounded based solely upon Ms. D.'s representation that she



would enter a drug treatment program.



     128. To date, CWA has failed to investigate the report of



suspected abuse or neglect in the manner required by law, and has



failed to file a written report detailing the elements of the



investigation or the reasons for its conclusion.  Upon



information and belief, CWA is continuing to inadequately monitor



Shauna or Ms. D.'s status, and has never arranged for Shauna to



receive her immunization shots.



     129. The defendants have violated Shauna's constitutional



and statutory rights by failing to investigate reports of



suspected abuse or neglect as required by law and reasonable



professional standards, by failing to protect her from harm; and



by failing to offer Shauna timely medical attention according to



reasonable professional standards.





                              44







     130. As a result of the defendants' actions and inactions,



Shauna has been and is being irreparably harmed.



Ozzie E.



     131. Plaintiff Ozzie E. is a fourteen-year-old child who



should not be in foster care.  Ozzie wants to return to live with



his mother, Ms. E., who wants to take him home.  All that stands



between reuniting mother and son is CWA's refusal to provide



services to allow Ms. E. to care for Ozzie, who suffers from



seizure disorder, brain lesions and behavioral problems.



     132. After his parents separated, Ozzie initially went to



live with his father.  But Ozzie's father, Mr. Q., frequently



traveled for work and left Ozzie with his female companion.



During one of these trips in early 1995, Ozzie had a seizure and



was placed in the hospital by Mr. Q.'s companion.  When Mr. Q.



returned and refused to take Ozzie home from the hospital, CWA



placed Ozzie in a group home.  Ozzie's father voluntarily placed



him in foster care on April 26, 1995.



     133. When CWA officials contacted Ozzie's mother, Ms. E., to



ascertain whether she would care for Ozzie, she indicated that



she had a job and, given Ozzie's physical and emotional



difficulties, could not properly care for him.  CWA officials



never suggested to Ozzie's mother that family preservation



services -- such as homemaker services, special schooling or day



treatment -- could be made available to help her care for Ozzie.



     134. For the next six months, CWA kept Ozzie in care,



listing his permanency goal as return to mother but failing to





                              45







offer any of the services necessary to achieve that goal.  CWA



has conceded, moreover, that Ozzie's present placement in a group



home is inappropriate because the group home does not provide



services necessary to address his neurological problems.



     135. After Ms. E. learned -- from Ozzie's law guardian, not



CWA -- about the possibility of supportive community-based



services to help her care for Ozzie, she stated that with such



help she would very much like to have Ozzie return home and live



with her.



     136. To date, despite the fact that CWA admits that Ozzie's



present placement is not appropriate, and despite the fact that



Ozzie's goal is return home, CWA refuses to provide the services



that would make Ozzie's return possible.  As a result, CWA is



needlessly continuing to keep mother and son apart.



     137. The defendants have violated Ozzie's constitutional and



statutory rights by failing to protect him from harm; and by



failing to provide appropriate planning and services that would



permit him to be returned to his mother, as required by law and



reasonable professional standards.



     138. As a result of defendants' actions and inactions, Ozzie



has suffered and continues to suffer irreparable harm.  Ozzie is



growing up without a permanent family, is being subjected to the



uncertainty of foster care status, and is being deprived of an



opportunity for healthy development and a normal childhood.





                              46







Darren F. and David F.



     139. Plaintiffs Darren F. and David F. are seven-year-old



twins who have been in foster care virtually their entire lives.



Because of CWA's failure to provide psychological and other



counseling, their condition is rapidly deteriorating and they are



on the verge of losing what may be their only chance for adoption



and permanency.



     140. Darren and David were born in 1988, and at age one were



placed by their mother in the custody of CWA, which placed them



in a foster home.  At that time, CWA's goal for the children was



return to their mother, on the conditions that she find a job or



obtain public assistance, and get an apartment.  However, the



case plan (embodied in the uniform case report, or "UCR")



which CWA approved -- failed to indicate what steps the foster



care agency or CWA had taken, or would take, to help the mother



achieve these goals.



     141. In May, 1990, Darren and David, who remained in foster



care, were placed with their grandmother.  Although their



grandmother was too old to care for them adequately, and would



often leave them for many hours in front of the television with



the volume turned up loud, CWA and the voluntary agency failed to



properly investigate or address this problem.  The three UCRs



filed for the twins during this period -- which CWA also



approved, on 6/7/90, 3/25/91 and 6/24/91 -- made no mention of



the issue.  Indeed, the last of these UCR's stated that the twins



"both appear to be very comfortable in the home."





                              47







     142. Darren and David were removed from their grandmother's



home after CWA and the agency learned from the police, who were



called to the home to restore peace, that the grandmother allowed



the natural mother, a known drug addict, to move into the foster



home with the children.



     143. In November, 1991, at the age of three, Darren and



David were placed with a new foster parent, Ms. R., who had been



a teacher's aid in a special education class and was better able



to address the children's special needs.  By the time Darren and



David arrived at Ms. R.'s home they were already showing signs of



psychological trauma: they had not been toilet trained, often



drank out of the toilet bowl, and smeared feces on the walls.



     144. CWA was aware of these problems, but failed to provide



any services to prevent Darren and David's continuing



psychological deterioration.  Without CWA's assistance, Ms. R.



enrolled the twins in therapeutic day care, which began to



stabilize their behavior.  At the same time, the twins' foster



care agency began the process of terminating their natural



mother's parental rights in April, 1992.  The boys' case plan



listed a goal of adoption by Ms. R.



     145. In September, 1994, Darren and David entered public



school, and soon thereafter their behavior again deteriorated.



They began using racial slurs, swearing and running around



uncontrollably when outside Ms. R.'s home.  Ms. R. repeatedly



asked the foster care agency for assistance, but the agency



refused to make any treatment referrals; CWA took no action to





                              48







help them either, although CWA knew or should have known about



the children's need for services.



     146. In May, 1995, a psychiatric evaluation of the twins was



conducted after Ms. R. indicated that she could no longer cope



with their behavior.  Darren and David at first refused to talk



with the psychiatrist.  When one of them did speak he began with



the following:



          They smash the cake, they beat my face, it

          was dumb, it was stupid, I told you I don't

          want to hear it, I will kill myself, I will

          choke myself....



The evaluation recommended that both boys immediately be enrolled



in a day treatment program while continuing to live with Ms. R.,



and specifically named three such programs.  The evaluation also



stated that the agency should not consider the radical step of



taking such young children out of a home setting and placing them



in a residential treatment center until a day treatment program



was tried first.



     147. Neither the private agency nor CWA made any attempt to



make the referrals recommended by the twins' doctors.  Instead,



the agency -- in flagrant disregard of the evaluations --



recommended that Darren and David be immediately placed in a



residential treatment center.  In November, 1995, the twins were



sent to a residential treatment center.



     148. Today, Darren and David continue to live at the



residential treatment center -- an institution designed for older



children with severe emotional or behavioral problems, which



until recently would not even accept children under the age of





                              49







twelve.  This setting is entirely inappropriate for children the



twins' age, contradicts the advice of the doctors who examined



them, and is causing them harm.  Moreover, because CWA continues



to fail to consider the option of day treatment, the twins can no



longer live with Ms. R., the person they have come to think of as



their mother.  Indeed, the separation may cause Ms. R. to



relinquish her hopes of adopting them, thus depriving the twins



of their best chance for a permanent and stable home.



     149. The defendants have violated Darren and David's



constitutional and statutory rights by failing to provide



services necessary to prevent them from mentally and



psychologically deteriorating while in foster care; by failing to



develop and implement appropriate case plans that contain the



required elements, in accordance with the law and reasonable



professional standards; by failing to make appropriate casework



contacts with them and monitor their progress as required by law



and reasonable professional standards; and by failing to provide



appropriate planning and services that would permit them to be



placed in a permanent home.



     150. As a result of the defendants' actions and inactions,



Darren and David have been and are being irreparably harmed.



Darren and David are growing up without a permanent family, and



are being deprived of an opportunity for healthy development and



normal childhoods.





                              50







Bill G. and Victoria G.



     151. Plaintiffs Bill G. and Victoria G. are brother and



sister, ages fourteen and ten, and have spent virtually their



entire lives in foster care.  Because of CWA's continual failure



to appropriately plan for these children, Bill and Victoria have



never had any real chance of leaving the child welfare system and



enjoying a secure and permanent home.  And because of their



increasing ages, if CWA does not act soon it will become, as a



practical matter, impossible to provide these children with a



permanent home and a relatively normal childhood.



     152. In September, 1985, shortly after Victoria's birth, she



and Bill were placed in foster care pursuant to a finding of



neglect against their natural parents.  At that time, their



parents were living together.  Bill is mentally retarded and



suffers from a mild form of cerebral palsy.  He is labeled as a



special needs child and requires supportive services.



     153. Bill and Victoria were placed together under the



supervision of a private agency, in the foster home of Ms. H.



From September, 1985, to August, 1987, the children's permanency



goal was return to parent.  In order to achieve that goal, the



agency developed -- and CWA approved -- a case plan which called



for parenting classes, psychiatric counseling for Mrs. G.,



completion of an A.A. program by Mr. G., the location of adequate



housing, and regular parent/child visitation.



     154. Neither CWA nor the agency took any steps to implement



the children's case plan by securing Mr. and Mrs. G.'s





                              51







cooperation with the service plan and monitoring their progress.



As a result, there were infrequent parent/child visits, including



an absence of any visits between March 11, 1986, and June 24,



1986 -- a fact CWA did not know because there were no caseworker



contacts with either the children or parents during this three-



month period.



     155. On August 26, 1987, the legal authority for the



children's placement lapsed due to defendants' negligence.  For



nearly two years thereafter, defendants evidenced no awareness



that Bill and Victoria remained in Ms. H.'s home without a legal



placement.  On July 9, 1989, CWA finally obtained a voluntary



placement agreement from Mr. and Mrs. G.



     156. During this period, Bill and Victoria's permanency goal



remained reunification with their parents.  The service plan for



the family repeated the goals of completion of A.A. and parenting



programs, regular visitation, and completion of psychiatric



counseling for Mrs. G.  Despite the parents' longstanding refusal



to comply with identical service plans, CWA failed to work with



them to render it more likely that compliance with the plan --



and achievement of the children's permanency goal -- would occur,



or to justify a change in the children's goal.



     157. In August, 1989, Bill and Victoria reported that they



had been beaten by their parents during an unsupervised weekend



visit.  CWA refused to investigate this report.  Although an



investigation was conducted as the result of a court order, CWA



permitted bi-weekly parent/child visitation to continue.  The





                              52







allegations of abuse against Mr. and Mrs. G. were eventually



deemed "indicated", or founded.



     158. Despite Mr. and Mrs. G.'s well-documented failure to



comply with the elements of the service plan, defendants



continued to fail to develop an appropriate plan for Bill and



Victoria, or to reconsider the children's goal of reunification.



Instead, CWA allowed the children to drift in foster care with no



realistic goal, as it was clear that Mr. and Mrs. G. showed



little interest in having their children returned home.  In fact,



Bill and Victoria were not visited at all between August 8, 1990,



and November 9, 1990.  During the few subsequent visits, Mr. G.



often remained in his bedroom and did not interact with the



children.  And Mr. and Mrs. G. still failed to enter counseling



or A.A. in accordance with their service plan.



     159. On January 17, 1991, nearly five and one-half years



after their initial placement, the Family Court itself



acknowledged that the children's permanency goal was



inappropriate and ordered defendants to file a petition seeking



termination of Mr. and Mrs. G.'s parental rights within 90 days.



While the goal was officially changed to TPR/adoption, defendants



ignored the court's order and failed to file the termination



petition until June 19, 1991 -- more than five months after the



court's order.



     160.  At an August, 1992 hearing, CWA was forced to withdraw



the TPR petition because it had failed to make sufficient





                              53







diligent efforts to work with the Mr. and Mrs. G., and thus



lacked the legal basis to terminate their parental rights.



     161.  In May, 1992, Mr. G. left New York for South Carolina,



and maintained only sporadic contact with the children until his



return in December, 1993 -- nineteen months later.  While this



absence of contact, alone, may have justified the termination of



his rights, CWA failed to pursue this course.  Instead, at a



December, 1993 hearing, CWA claimed that they still had failed to



make diligent efforts to work with the family.  To date, CWA



still has not attempted to obtain a TPR.



     162. When Mr. G. returned to the New York City area in



December, 1993, he demanded that his children be discharged to



his care.  After allowing Bill and Victoria to drift through the



foster care system for nearly eight years, CWA once again changed



the children's goal from adoption to return home.



     163. As in the past, however, CWA failed to ensure that a



reasonable plan be developed and implemented to achieve this



goal.  Instead, the family's service plans in December 1993, June



1994, and December 1994 continued to call for Mr. G. to complete



a general counseling program, an alcohol treatment program and a



parenting program, to obtain adequate housing, and to visit with



the children regularly.  But CWA failed -- and continues to fail



-- to ensure that Mr. G. complies with the same service plan



which he has repeatedly failed to complete for the past decade,



or to pursue a more appropriate goal for these children.  Mr. G.



still only visits the children on a sporadic basis, and there is





                              54







no indication that he has completed, or even begun, any of the



programs required by the plan.



     164. Bill and Victoria have lived with their foster mother,



Ms. H., for the past ten years, and Ms. H. has expressed a desire



to adopt them.  Bill is now fourteen years old and has lived with



Ms. H. since he was three.  Victoria, who is now ten years old,



has been in foster care nearly her entire life.  Ms. H. is



essentially the only mother both children have ever known.  As a



result of CWA's failure to properly manage their case, Bill and



Victoria may lose their chance to be adopted by Ms. H., and may



be returned to an abusive father who has effectively abandoned



them for ten years.



     165. These children remain uncertain as to whether they will



remain with their foster mother or return to their natural



father.  Defendants have failed to provide Bill and Victoria with



psychological counseling to address this lack of stability and



certainty, to prepare them to return to their father, or even to



identify the need for supportive services to render the



transition less traumatic.



     166. Ms. H. has been trained to address Bill's special needs



and, according to CWA's records, she has provided a "stable and



secure" home for Bill and Victoria.  By contrast, Mr. G. is



diagnosed as suffering from "chronic schizophrenia" and "alcohol



abuse."  Removing these children from their current environment



would cause them irreparable harm.





                              55







     167. After a weekend visit with their father in May, 1995,



Bill and Victoria reported that he had neglected to feed them.



Moreover, the children have emphatically stated that they do not



want to live with their father, and that they want to live with



Ms. H., whom they refer to as "Mommy."  While the agency has



cancelled further weekend visits with Mr. G., the children's



permanency goal remains return to home.



     168. Defendants have violated Bill and Victoria's



constitutional and statutory rights by failing to protect them



from harm; by failing to develop written case plans that contain



the required elements in accordance with the law and professional



standards, and are likely to lead to permanency; by failing to



review case plans within the required time periods; by failing to



implement the case plans to ensure their permanent placement, as



required by law and reasonable professional standards; by failing



to conduct an adequate assessment to determine whether placement



with their father is appropriate; and by failing to provide these



children with services necessary to meet their needs.



     169. As a result of defendants' actions and inactions, Bill



and Victoria have been and continue to be irreparably harmed, and



are being deprived of a permanent home and the opportunity for



healthy development.



Brandon H.



     170. Plaintiff Brandon H. is seven years old and has lived



his entire life in foster care.  Despite the fact that his



parents' parental rights have been terminated, and despite the





                              56







fact that he has a potential adoptive parent willing to adopt



him, CWA has failed to take the necessary steps to allow him to



be adopted and to bring the psychologically damaging limbo of



foster care to a close.



     171. Brandon was born on May 25, 1988.  His mother was



twelve years old, and was herself in foster care.  Brandon was



immediately removed from his mother and placed in foster care.



     172. Because CWA failed to extend Brandon's initial



placement under a finding of parental neglect, the legal basis



for his placement lapsed, and on November 27, 1991, CWA filed a



second neglect petition.  This petition -- ultimately upheld by



the court -- alleged, inter alia, that:



          [Brandon's] mother has stated that she likes to

          make babies cry because she likes the way they

          sound and the way their bodies shake.  [Brandon's]

          mother also stated that she likes to overfeed

          babies to see them vomit.



     173. On February 13, 1992, a court ordered CWA to file a



petition seeking termination of Brandon's mother's parental



rights.  Despite this order, and despite Brandon's mother's



obvious inability to care for Brandon, CWA failed to file the TPR



petition until October 5, 1992 -- almost eight months later.



     174. In early 1992, Brandon was placed in a pre-adoptive



home with Ms. W., who, according to a UCR filed on May 25, 1992,



Brandon called "Mommy."



     175. On March 29, 1994, Brandon's mother's parental rights



were terminated by court order.  Despite the fact that Brandon



was now freed for adoption, and despite the fact that a potential





                              57







adoptive parent -- Ms. W. -- had long been identified, CWA failed



to take any of the steps necessary to allow Ms. W. to actually



adopt Brandon.  Almost two years after Brandon was freed for



adoption, CWA has failed to file a petition for adoption, and,



inexplicably, has failed even to transfer Brandon's case to the



CWA adoption division which could begin these procedures.  As a



result, Brandon continues to live in the impermanent and



psychologically damaging limbo of foster care, while CWA does



nothing to address his paramount need for permanency.  Moreover,



by failing to schedule a hearing to review Brandon's status, as



required by law, CWA continues to allow Brandon to be lost in a



system without any oversight or monitoring.



     176. The defendants have violated Brandon's constitutional



and statutory rights by failing to protect him from harm; by



failing to implement his permanency plan and allow him to leave



foster care and enjoy a permanent and secure home; by failing to



provide him with services to facilitate his adoption as required



by law and reasonable professional standards; by failing to



prevent the psychological deterioration caused by such



impermanence; and by failing to schedule mandated hearings, thus



depriving Brandon of his right to mandated oversight of his



status.



     177. As a result of the defendants' actions and inactions,



Brandon has been and is being irreparably harmed.  Brandon is



growing up without a permanent family, is being unnecessarily



subjected to the uncertainty of foster care status, and is being





                              58







deprived of an opportunity for healthy development and a normal



childhood.



Steven I.



     178. Plaintiff Steven I. is sixteen years old, and has been



in foster care his entire life.  CWA has never provided



appropriate and legally mandated case and permanency planning,



and has failed to provide services to help Steven address the



severe psychiatric and emotional problems which he has developed



while in foster care.  Although the doctors who have treated



Steven claim that he needs long-term residential treatment, CWA



has ignored -- and continues to ignore -- his need for such care.



Instead, CWA inappropriately assigned Steven to a group home,



from which he ran away in 1994.  Steven has never returned to



this inappropriate placement, choosing instead to live on the



streets.



     179. Steven was born on July 12, 1979, with drugs in his



bloodstream, and was removed from his mother's care soon



thereafter, as the result of a neglect finding.  Steven was



placed in foster care first with his grandmother, and, after her



death, with an aunt.  Steven's case was supervised directly by



CWA, not by a voluntary agency.



     180. By age twelve, Steven was demonstrating severe



emotional problems and engaging in violent behavior at school,



including attempting to rape a nine-year-old girl, soliciting



oral sex from two other girls, stabbing people with pencils and





                              59







setting fires.  Despite this behavior, CWA failed to provide



proper services to Steven to deal with these problems.



     181. Because of his violent behavior, Steven's aunt took



Steven for a diagnostic psychiatric evaluation.  The doctors who



evaluated Steven recommended that to prevent his further



psychological deterioration he should be placed in a long-term



residential treatment facility with the experience and expertise



to address his severe psychiatric needs.  CWA failed to refer



Steven for such a placement, or to provide Steven and his aunt



with services sufficient to address his problems.



     182. When CWA refused to take the steps necessary to prevent



Steven's psychological condition from further deteriorating,



Steven's aunt, on her own initiative, took him to a clinic for



psychiatric help.  For several months after visiting the clinic,



Steven's behavior improved.  But in December, 1992, and again in



December, 1993, he attempted to molest other children.  As a



result, the doctors at the clinic recommended long-term



residential treatment to address Steven's needs and prevent



further deterioration of his condition.



     183. Again, CWA failed to act.  In September, 1994, at the



age of fifteen, Steven was committed to New York Hospital, where



he was labeled a "sexual predator."  Despite this, upon his



release in October, 1994, CWA placed Steven in a group home which



lacked the facilities to address his increasingly severe



emotional problems.  Predictably, Steven ran away from this group



home, and now lives primarily on the streets.





                              60







     184. Two weeks ago, Steven's aunt -- with whom he is



intermittently in contact -- took him to the clinic which had



previously treated him and tried to get him admitted for



psychiatric treatment.  CWA initially delayed the authorization



for payment for such treatment, and, several hours later, after



numerous phone calls, when CWA agreed to pay for such treatment,



Steven and his aunt had already left the hospital without



obtaining help.  Since that time, CWA has made no attempts to



find Steven -- who remains in CWA's legal custody -- or to



provide him the care he desperately needs.



     185. The defendants have violated Steven's constitutional



and statutory rights by failing to protect him from harm; by



failing to provide services necessary to prevent him from



psychologically deteriorating while in foster care; by failing to



develop and implement case plans that contain the required



elements, in accordance with the law and reasonable professional



standards; by failing to make appropriate casework contacts with



Steven and monitor his progress as required by law and reasonable



professional standards; and by failing to provide planning and



services that would permit him to be placed in a permanent home.



     186. As a result of the defendants' actions and inactions,



Steven has been and continues to be irreparably harmed.  Steven



is growing up without a permanent family, is being subjected to



the uncertainty of foster care status, is living on the streets,



is receiving no care for his severe psychological problems, and





                              61







is being deprived of an opportunity for healthy development and a



normal childhood.



       FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS REGARDING SYSTEMIC DEFICIENCIES



     187. The experiences and current situations of the named



plaintiffs are neither unusual nor aberrational.  Rather, they



are merely several examples of the defendants' systemic failure



to fulfill their legal responsibilities to the entire class of



children whom they are legally obligated to serve.



     188. The failures delineated herein all result from



defendants' long-standing pattern and practice of illegality, and



their deliberate indifference to the needs of the children in the



plaintiff class.  Any attempts defendants may have made to remedy



these failings have been ineffective.



     189. Defendants have long been aware of the need to redress



these problems, and have had the authority to ameliorate them.



But they have refused to exercise their authority, and refused to



ensure that adequate funds are available and used appropriately



to ensure compliance with the law.



                       Protective Services



     190. Protective services are those services aimed at



protecting vulnerable children from physical or psychological



abuse and neglect.



     191. Defendants fail to protect children in circumstances



when they have received reports notifying them that a particular



child is in danger of abuse or neglect.  Many investigations are



neither timely nor adequate, with the result that numerous





                              62







children are harmed -- often severely, and even fatally --



because CWA has failed to meet its obligation to protect them.



     192. The law requires that defendants have in place a system



for accepting reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.  In



New York, this system is the State Central Register, operated by



the state Department of Social Services and commonly known as the



"hotline."



     193. The State Central Register is understaffed, making it



extremely difficult to actually report suspected child abuse or



neglect.  Calls either go unanswered or, once answered, are



placed on hold interminably.



     194. Currently, State Central Register staff will not accept



a call for investigation unless the caller can offer what amounts



to proof of child abuse or neglect on the telephone.  Many well-



founded reports of child abuse or neglect -- even those made by



credible, professional sources such as doctors or teachers -- are



deemed insufficient to warrant investigation.



     195. The state hotline fails to maintain any records on the



number of allegations of abuse and neglect it refuses to accept



for investigation.



     196. Those reports that are accepted frequently linger



without proper CWA investigation well beyond the mandatory



investigative time period.



     197. The law specifies that investigations must be initiated



within twenty-four hours, that a preliminary investigation report



be written within seven days, and that the investigation be





                              63







completed within sixty days.  Defendants fail to meet these



requirements.



     198. CWA's records indicate that in 1993 only 39.5 percent



of its protective service investigations were completed within



the legal timeframe.  Of the 44,758 protective service



investigations pending in November, 1993, 39,057 were delinquent,



and 14,072 had been pending for more than six years.



     199. To address the enormous backlog of protective service



investigations, between December, 1993, and February, 1994, CWA



"administratively expunged" 13,000 cases with long-outstanding



investigations--that is, the agency simply removed the cases from



its computer files, while doing nothing to ensure that the



investigations had been completed, or even begun.



     200. Many of the investigations that are conducted are



perfunctory and inadequate to protect children.  Investigations



often fail to include visits to the child's home, face-to-face or



telephone interviews with the child, or the collection of



information from informed sources such as police officers,



teachers, and medical professionals, though all these steps are



required by law.



     201. According to a recent memorandum by a CWA attorney,



some child protective services caseworkers -- who are responsible



for investigating allegations of abuse or neglect, and are also



known as "protective/diagnostic" or "P/D" workers -- condone



violence against children, including corporal punishment, in



violation of CWA's policies.





                              64







     202. On account of these multiple failings, numerous



children are allowed to remain in homes in which they are in



danger.  Many children are physically injured, often severely.



Some have been killed before CWA took the initiative to commence



or complete the investigations.



     203. Despite the absence of credible evidence that the



actual incidence of child abuse and neglect is declining, the



percentage of allegations deemed "indicated" by CWA has declined



significantly in recent years.  In 1989, 54.3 percent of the



allegations were indicated; in 1990, 49.6 percent; in 1991, 44.8



percent; and in 1992, 32.1 percent.



     204. During the five-year period from 1990 to 1994, 197 New



York City children who had been subjects of calls to the State



Central Register died.  According to a report by CWA's Child



Fatality Review Panel, forty-seven percent of these deaths --



ninety-three children -- died by homicide, and in most of these



cases the perpetrator was the child's parent or caretaker.



     205. In 1990, CWA had 1,080 P/D workers.  Due to a series of



layoffs, buyouts and early retirement incentives, earlier this



year only 712 remained.



     206. P/D workers are not provided the most basic necessary



equipment, including beepers to facilitate contact with them when



they are out in the field.  An absurd back-and-forth between



notes left on unanswered doors and telephone messages left at



empty offices results in unacceptable delay, during which no



actual investigation occurs, placing children in grave danger.





                              65







     207. Child Welfare League of America standards state that



protective service caseworkers should carry no more than twelve



investigative cases at a time, but many of CWA's protective



service caseworkers have caseloads far in excess of this number.



This City-wide problem is particularly acute in Kings and Bronx



Counties, where caseloads can reach thirty or more.  Such



caseloads prevent even the finest, most dedicated caseworkers



from doing their jobs effectively and protecting children.



     208. Upon information and belief, the number and percentage



of reports of suspected child abuse or neglect that are accepted



for investigation vary substantially over relatively short



periods of time.  Upon further information and belief, these



changes reflect management decisions regarding the number of new



cases the system "can handle."  The changes do not result from



changes in the number or severity of calls made to the hotline.



     209. When investigating allegations of child abuse or



neglect, caseworkers often misuse voluntary placements.  Rather



than take the time and do the paperwork to file abuse and neglect



charges, or provide the services necessary to avoid foster care



placements, caseworkers urge parents to sign documents



"voluntarily" placing their children in foster care.  While this



is easier for the caseworker, it undermines the children's and



parents' rights to the provision of appropriate services, and to



certain procedural protections before a family is broken apart.



     210. This practice also places children in jeopardy, because



many children placed "voluntarily" into foster care are placed





                              66







from homes in which they are in danger of abuse or neglect.  And



it is much easier for parents to obtain the release of children



placed voluntarily, and to return them to the same dangerous



situations from which they were "voluntarily" removed.



     211. Defendants are particularly reluctant to investigate



allegations that teenagers have been abused and neglected, for



reasons having nothing to do with the likelihood that such



allegations are true.  Because CWA lacks sufficient placements



for adolescents, CWA is loathe to admit them to a system where



they will remain in long-term foster care, unlikely to be



adopted.  Instead, defendants refer vulnerable teenagers to



emergency homeless shelters or private facilities such as



Covenant House, despite the fact that teenagers may remain in



these facilities for only thirty days.



                       Preventive Services



     212. Preventive services are services provided to children



at risk of placement in foster care.  These legally required



services are designed to help families remain together whenever



possible by helping families address whatever problems have



placed the child(ren) at risk of foster care placement.



     213. CWA provides almost no services to avert the need for



foster care placement in appropriate circumstances.



     214. CWA routinely fails to respond to serious problems



within families that could lead to a child's placement in foster



care, even when these problems are known to the agency.





                              67







     215. When service plans are written, they are not adjusted



over time in response to families' changing needs.



     216. CWA has very few programs to preserve families and



avert the need for foster care placement under appropriate



circumstances.  Those programs that exist are woefully inadequate



to meet the needs, and legal rights, of the plaintiff children.



     217. CWA has failed to develop and ensure access to a



sufficient number and type of service providers, though legally



required to do so.  This failure has resulted in long waiting



lists for such services as day care, family therapy and housing



assistance.  The current waiting list for mental health services,



for example, is between eight and nine months, and will be



exacerbated once several child psychiatric treatment centers are



closed, as is scheduled.  Treatment programs for drug abuse and



family violence are similarly limited.



     218. In recent months, homemaker services to families at



risk of having children removed into foster care have been



dramatically reduced.



     219. After making referrals to private service providers,



CWA caseworkers do not follow up to ensure that the family



follows through or that the agency actually has the capacity and



ability to provide the family with the services that it needs.



     220. The types and degree of services available to keep



families together -- and the decision whether to provide such



services to particular families and children -- are driven not by



the families' needs or the likelihood that the services will





                              68







succeed in keeping a family together, but by fiscal concerns and



prevailing ideologies.



     221. As a result of these failures, many children are now in



foster care who would be home with their families had appropriate



preventive services been provided, as required by law.



                Permanency Planning for Children



     222. Foster care is intended as a temporary system, in which



the government agency quickly assesses the problems and service



needs of a child and family, decides whether a child can and



should be returned to the family, provides services to try to



implement the goal of returning the child, determines whether the



goal is unrealistic or cannot or should not be accomplished



within a reasonable period of time and, if the child cannot or



should not be returned, makes every effort to find another



permanent family for the child, usually through adoption.



     223. Although the law requires caseworkers to establish a



goal to achieve permanency for a child within a reasonable period



of time, and to develop a step-by-step strategic plan for



achieving this goal, in New York this almost never occurs.



224. Instead, planning for New York City children takes



place by default, in violation of reasonable professional



standards.  Children languish in foster care for years, with no



realistic planning taking place.  That is why New York City



children remain in foster care three times longer than the



national average: 4.2 years as compared to 1.4.





                              69







     225. As a result of CWA's totally unprofessional decision-



making, CWA has a recidivism rate of twenty per cent, with many



children returned home without adequate investigation,



supervision or supportive service, only to have the same problems



recur, requiring a return to foster care.  Such "planning" as



takes place often consists merely of a caseworker appearing at



periodic court reviews -- when these occur at all -- and stating



that the child's goal is "extension of foster care placement."



This problem is so acute that one New York City judge has posted



a sign on the wall of her courtroom that reads: "Extension of



placement is not a goal."



     226. Instead of making a careful, individualized judgment



about the appropriate long-term goal for a child, virtually all



children are initially assigned a goal of return home -- whether



the child has been seriously abused over a long period of time,



whether the parent has abused other siblings or evidenced any



interest in having the child returned, and whether the child has



previously been in foster care because of the parent's inability



or unwillingness to care for the child in the past.



     227. Despite having a goal of returning a child to the



parent, however, CWA often does little to ensure that this goal



is accomplished, either by providing necessary services to the



parent or ensuring that its contract agencies provide these



services.  Thus those parents who could resume custody of their



children were services provided to help them are often unable to



do so.





                              70







     228. At the same time, children whose parents cannot or will



not benefit from services, and whose sole hope for permanency is



adoption, often cannot be adopted because CWA fails to change



their goal to adoption for extraordinarily long periods of time.



CWA does not even begin the process of attempting to free a child



for adoption until after the child's goal has been changed,



regardless of whether legal grounds exist to do so.



                   Assessments and Case Plans



     229. Although assessments and case plans are the key to



ensuring that children receive appropriate services and necessary



treatment, and that permanency goals for children are



implemented, many children do not get service assessments and



case plans in a timely and professional manner as required by



law.  Caseworkers frequently prepare assessments and plans



several weeks or sometimes months after they are due.  In some



cases, they do not prepare any assessment or plan.  Although CWA



must approve every assessment and case plan prepared by a



voluntary agency, it routinely approves plans months after they



have taken effect.



     230. Service assessments frequently fail to accurately



identify the reasons why a child is at risk of foster care



placement or is in foster care.  While a parent's drug abuse or



mental illness account for a large percentage of foster care



placements, caseworkers are not trained to recognize these



problems, and assessments frequently do not reflect them.





                              71







     231. Assessments often fail to describe adequately the role



of each member of a child's family, and how that family member



contributed to the problems that placed the child in foster care



or at risk of foster care placement.  For example, assessments



and case plans often fail to account for issues of domestic



violence in a family, even if an abusive father or boyfriend is



the primary perpetrator of abuse.



     232. Case plans do not contain necessary and appropriate



service referrals.  Most plans contain the same two service



referrals -- "parenting skills" and "therapy" -- without regard



to the individualized needs of the families for whom the plans



are prepared.  It is not unusual for case plans to refer mentally



ill parents to "general counselling," or to refer parents who



simply lack housing to a parenting class.



     233. There are inadequate attempts to develop service plans



that provide for a comprehensive package of services to families



and children with serious psychiatric and medical needs.  Often,



for example, sexually abused children do not receive referrals



for necessary psychiatric and medical services.



     234. Because many referrals are inappropriate, severely



abused children often bounce from service provider to service



provider, undermining the continuity essential to the effective



delivery of services.



     235. CWA fails to ensure that those services identified as



necessary are available and actually provided.





                              72







     236. Service plans do not track a family's ongoing efforts



or failures in resolving the problems that led to the need for



service intervention, documenting the parents' progress or lack



thereof in meeting established goals.  Instead, many case plans



merely repeat the contents of the previous service plan, in



rubber-stamp fashion.



     237. Service plans are not reviewed in the manner required



by law.  Although parents are to be included in the review, they



often are not invited, do not receive copies of the plans, and do



not sign the plans indicating that such plans have been explained



to them and that they are in agreement with the plans' contents.



Because of their exclusion, parents frequently do not know what



is required of them under the plan and what tasks they must



accomplish to facilitate their child's discharge from foster



care.  The result is that children stay in foster care for



unnecessarily long periods of time.



     238. When the caseworker assigned to a case goes on



vacation, no temporary caseworker is assigned, so all assessment



and case planning activity ceases, and nobody monitors the



child(ren).



                     Out-of-Home Placements



     239. When children are removed from the family setting, they



are placed on a "hit-or-miss" basis in whatever bed is available,



often with foster parents who have not been appropriately



screened or trained.





                              73







     240. Because defendants have not developed a sufficient



range of different types of placements to meet the needs of



children, many children are placed inappropriately.



     241. Because of an insufficient number of adolescent



placements, teenage foster children are either not taken into



placement when necessary, or are pushed out of the foster care



system and forced to live either on the streets or in one



temporary shelter facility after another.



     242. Because of a lack of appropriate mother-child



placements, many girls who give birth while in foster care are



separated from their babies.  Mothers and their babies are placed



in a series of inappropriate placements, undermining their



healthy development.



     243. Because of a lack of adequate placements for children



with special psychiatric or medical needs, many children with



serious problems deteriorate further while in defendants'



custody.  Although foster care placements are supposed to be as



stable and family-like as possible, CWA's lack of adequate



placements and managerial ineptitude undermine these goals.



Children frequently bounce from one placement to another, with no



stability at all.  One young man, for example, was recently moved



to his seventy-seventh different foster care placement since



1991.



     244. Many foster homes are not reasonably in accord with



required standards for such homes.  Initial home studies and



investigations are superficial, and foster care license renewal





                              74







requirements are disregarded.  Some foster parents are barely



functional.  Some individuals who are given foster parent



licenses have no real interest in children, but are simply



interested in the additional income.  Others, whose homes have



been decertified as foster homes because of allegations of abuse



or neglect, simply wait several months, apply for certification



with another private agency, and get recertified because the



absence of data prevents adequate background checking.  Upon



information and belief, between five and ten percent of foster



parents have criminal records.



     245. Reports of children being abused and neglected while in



foster homes are not investigated in the manner or within the



time periods required by law.  Abuse or neglect by foster parents



often is not even reported, because CWA and the voluntary



agencies tolerate behavior from foster parents which would be



unacceptable if exhibited by birth parents.  Caseworkers



routinely delay action, despite their knowledge of a foster



child's abuse, jeopardizing the child's safety.



     246. Defendants have failed to ensure that foster parents



receive the training necessary to enable them to provide proper



care to the children placed with them.  As a result, many



children who have entered defendants' custody with problems



created by abuse or neglect in their own homes are further



deteriorating under CWA's care.





                              75







                   Services to Foster Children



     247. Foster children do not receive the services necessary



to keep them free from harm while in foster care, and to enable



them to return home, to be freed for adoption, or to live



independently once they leave defendants' custody.



     248. While in foster care, children suffer a myriad of



substantial deprivations, including but not limited to inadequate



physical health care, inadequate mental health care and



inadequate educational services.



Health Care and Related Services



     249. Although CWA is required to ensure that children in its



custody receive adequate health care, many foster children's



physical and mental health care needs go unaddressed.  These



failures include the entire spectrum of health care services



required by law, from well-child exams to care for end-stage AIDS



patients.



     250. Foster children have particularly high health care



needs -- which is unsurprising among a group of children who have



been abused and neglected.



     251. A study conducted by the New York State Department of



Social Services Office of Quality Assurance and Audit, released



in May, 1995, paints a picture of devastating failure:



          a.   Fewer than one percent of foster children's



     medical records have all the required components.





                              76







          b.   Only eighteen percent of foster children receive



     complete comprehensive medical examinations, as mandated by



     law.



          c.   Only half of foster children's records indicate



     that they have received immunizations as required by law.



          d.   Less than thirty-four percent of foster children



     receive age-appropriate lead blood tests.



          e.   Children in direct foster care (i.e., serviced



     directly by CWA, not by one of the voluntary agencies) fare



     the worst, have the worst health problems, and suffer from



     the poorest documentation of their medical records.



     252. A study conducted by the United States General



Accounting Office, also released in May, 1995, reveals a similar



pattern of failure:



          a.   "Important health-related needs, including routine



     medical examination and various specialized services,



    remain[] unmet for nearly one-third of the young foster



    children in the locations reviewed[, including New York]."



          b.   More than one-third of foster children receive no



    immunizations.



          c.   Children placed in foster care with their



    relatives are less likely than children in other foster care



    settings to receive necessary and required health care.



    253. Children enmeshed in the child welfare system have much



more severe and pervasive mental health needs than children



generally.  Yet CWA and private agency caseworkers often lack the





                              77







skills necessary to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and



to take appropriate action.



     254. And for those children whose mental health care needs



are identified, there is a critical lack of appropriate services.



CWA has failed to develop and provide a sufficient range and



quantity of mental health care services -- from relatively



informal counseling to in-patient psychiatric care -- to address



the needs of the children it is required to serve.



     255. Adolescents who need specialized clinical or



psychotherapeutic intervention typically do not receive it.



     256. Defendants also fail to provide foster children with



disabilities -- including but not limited to those with HIV and



AIDS -- with the services necessary to allow them to participate



fully in the City's child welfare system as required by law, nor



do they ensure that the private agencies with which they contract



provide such services.



     257. There is an insufficient number of appropriate



placements for foster children with HIV, AIDS and other acute



disabilities.



     258. Foster children with disabilities requiring medical



care often do not receive it.



     259. Foster children who rely upon a mechanical apparatus



such as a wheelchair or leg braces do not receive necessary parts



and supplies, and as a result are sometimes home-bound and forced



to miss school.





                              78







Educational Services



     260. CWA, directly and through the private agencies with



which it contracts, is required to take such steps as are



necessary to ensure that all children in foster care receive



education appropriate to their needs and in accordance with the



requirements of the state education laws; to maintain an active



and direct liaison with all foster children's schools; and to



ensure that all foster children receive appropriate educational



and vocational guidance.  CWA is systemically failing to meet any



of these obligations.



     261. Because of CWA's failure, foster children face a



variety of problems, including but not limited to the following:



          a.   Foster children's biological parents are not



     included in educational decision-making.



          b.   Foster children are disproportionately and



     inappropriately placed in special education, adding to the



     stigma inherent in being in foster care, and increasing the



     likelihood that these children will either drop out of



     school or become so demoralized that they fall behind grade



     level.



          c.   Some foster children are placed in residential



     facilities with in-house education programs, which are often



     insufficient, and are inadequately monitored by CWA.



          d.   When foster children must change schools -- which



     occurs with alarming frequency, as children move from



     placement to placement -- their educational records do not





                              79







     follow them, so educational continuity becomes impossible.



     And when children leave foster care and return to their



     neighborhood school or high school of choice, their



     educational records from their time in foster care often do



     not follow them, so they receive no credit for schoolwork



     completed while in foster care.



     262. Foster children with learning disabilities do not



receive the testing necessary to document their disability, and



thus are precluded from receiving legally mandated accommodations



for it.



     263. CWA has failed to foster an appropriate working



relationship with the New York City Board of Education, though



such a relationship could facilitate appropriate school



placements, transportation of educational records, and continuity



of educational services.



Reunification Services



     264. Foster children are not provided with services



necessary to facilitate the prompt reunification of their



families, as required by law.



     265. Once a child is placed in foster care, caseworkers



frequently cease to work with the child's family members to



address the problems that led to the placement and prepare for



the child's return home.



     266. Because parents are not included sufficiently in



planning for their children's permanent discharge from foster





                              80







care, they frequently do not even know or understand what they



must do to secure their children's discharge.



     267. As a result of these failures, children often spend



years longer than necessary in government custody.



Adoption Services



     268. Because case planning and case management are so inept,



CWA does not set appropriate permanency goals for children.  Even



long after it is clear that a child will never be able to return



home, CWA does not set a goal of adoption.  While waiting for



their goals to be changed, thousands of children get too old to



be strong candidates for adoption, and end up spending many



unnecessary years in foster care.



     269. At every stage of the adoption process, CWA and the



private agencies drag their feet interminably.  Thousands of



foster children who cannot return home remain unadapted because



CWA has failed to take the prerequisite actions by establishing a



goal of adoption, terminating parental rights, placing the



children in properly screened pre-adoptive homes, and moving the



legal adoption process forward.



     270. The failure to involve parents in planning for their



children often impedes the adoption process.  Many times



adoptions cannot move forward because CWA has not engaged in



legally required "diligent efforts" to reunify the child's



biological family.



     271. Once CWA sets a goal of adoption, it takes an average



of 3.2 years for CWA to complete the adoption, undermining the





                              81







child's paramount need for stability and permanency.  For



children in CWA's direct care -- not placed with a private agency



-- the average is 3.8 years.



     272. Currently, more than 18,000 New York City foster



children have a permanency goal of adoption, many of whom are



legally free for adoption.  But CWA completes only approximately



2,400 adoptions each year.

    

     273. CWA has failed to develop an aggressive adoptive home



recruitment program so foster children for whom adoption is



necessary have a chance to be placed in a permanent family.  And



defendants fail diligently to recruit potential adoptive parents



who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of New York City's



foster children.



     274. Children in need of adoption have already spent long



years in foster care.  Some of them have lived with foster



parents with whom they have formed significant bonds.  But these



foster placements have often been made initially on an emergency



basis, without regard to whether the foster parent would be an



appropriate adoptive parent.  As a result of CWA's lack of



planning and professionally responsible decision-making early in



the child's placement, coupled with the long delays in CWA's



initiating the adoption process, for many children the choice



often becomes a less than adequate adoptive parent or the



disruption of an existing emotional bond.





                              82







                   Independent Living Services



     275. Foster children who cannot return home or be adopted



are legally entitled to services designed to prepare them to live



independently upon leaving the foster care system.  These



services are not provided in any meaningful way.  Young people



regularly "graduate" from the foster care system at age eighteen



or older4 lacking the education, training and skills necessary



to live independent, productive lives.



     276. The independent living program consists primarily of



lessons on balancing a checkbook, despite the fact that most



participants have neither a job nor a bank account.



     277. The independent living program provides no meaningful



vocational training, so young people leaving foster care lack the



skills necessary to allow them to assume employment and become



self-supporting, nor does CWA ensure that these young people



receive vocational training elsewhere.  This problem is



compounded by CWA's failure to ensure that foster children



receive an appropriate education, with the result that an



extraordinarily high percentage of young people being discharged



from foster care have not even graduated from high school.



     278. Some foster children who will be making the transition



to independent living are not United States citizens, but are



entitled under federal law to receive permanent residency cards



____________________

     4    Young people who enter foster care before turning

eighteen are permitted to remain in the system through age

twenty-one.  CWA has the right to discharge them, but must

provide them with ninety days' notice and services in accordance

with a reasonable discharge plan.





                              83







(commonly called "green cards").  Although permanent resident



status would enhance these young people's ability to obtain



higher education, housing and employment, CWA does nothing to



help them obtain such status.



     279. Foster children with disabilities receive no assistance



with making the particularly difficult transition to independent



living.  They are provided no help learning how to live on their



own with their disabilities, and are not even informed of



programs and benefits available to them.  Instead, they are often



pressured to sign themselves out of the foster care system as



soon as they turn eighteen and are legally able to do so.



Caseworker Screening, Training, Retention and Support



     280. Applicants for CWA caseworker positions are not



properly screened by educational background or ability to



successfully carry out a difficult and important job, nor is a



caseworker required to have anything more than a bachelor's



degree in any subject.



     281. Before entering the field, caseworkers receive only



twenty days of training, most of which focuses not on child



development but on filling out forms and other paperwork tasks.



As a result, caseworkers are wholly unprepared to make critical



assessments, to provide and access necessary services, or to work



with children and families.



     282. According to CWA's own lawyers, some caseworkers speak



little or no English, and therefor cannot testify regarding the





                              84







facts of their cases or communicate with their clients or other



service providers.



     283. Although new caseworkers are required to attend



training classes, they are not required to demonstrate any level



of competency before assuming responsibility for a caseload.  In



November, 1994, for example, one third of the child protective



services caseworkers graduating from CWA's pre-service training



program at the James Satterwhite Academy scored below sixty



percent on the multiple-choice final exam.  These caseworkers



were nonetheless employed and entrusted with life and death



decisions.



     284. When caseworkers fail the examination at the conclusion



of their training, they are rarely terminated.



     285. When "too many" caseworkers fail the examinations at



the conclusion of their training, CWA does act -- by removing the



most difficult questions from the next examination and lowering



the passing score.  Standards are continually ratcheted down.



     286. Once employed, caseworkers are not provided with the



supervision and support necessary to investigate reports of abuse



or neglect adequately; to monitor foster care placements



properly; to ensure that children, their birth families and their



foster families receive the services that they need; or to engage



in necessary and legally required case planning and management.



     287. Because of frequent turnover and the fact that



promotions are based on seniority instead of merit, CWA lacks



managers and supervisors with appropriate skills and experience





                              85







to direct and be accountable for a workforce required to make



critical life and death decisions.  Although CWA supervisors are



required to have Master of Social Work degrees, most do not.



     288. Because their supervisors do not have the necessary



skills, experience or education, caseworkers do not receive



needed supervision, guidance or support.  Although immediate



supervisors are required to meet with their caseworkers either



individually or in a group for at least one hour per week, these



meetings do not occur.



     289. CWA supervisors sometimes attempt to transfer cases to



other units or managers quickly when they sense trouble, so that



if a case blows up the disaster occurs on someone else's watch.



When something does go wrong, the parties typically engage in



mutual recrimination, instead of working together so the problem



does not occur again.



     290. With high caseloads and a lack of adequate supervision,



support and training, a large number of CWA caseworkers leave



after one or two years.  Transferring from CWA to another agency



-- public or private -- is commonly viewed as a step up.  Upon



information and belief, the annual turnover rate among protective



service caseworkers exceeds sixty percent.  As a result, the



front-line staff is frequently young, inexperienced and poorly



trained.





                              86







          Monitoring and Supervision of Private Agencies



     291. CWA's "supervision" of the private, voluntary agencies



and its "management" of the cases referred to these agencies are



hollow shells.



     292. Although CWA has legal responsibility for all children



in foster care, it delegates the day-to-day responsibility for



the vast majority of foster children to a series of private



agencies.  CWA nevertheless has final authority with regard to



all decisions that must be made for these children, and the



obligation to ensure that all children's cases are handled in



accordance with the law and reasonable professional standards.



CWA frequently fails to carry out this responsibility, either by



passively ignoring agencies' failure to provide necessary



services, or by affirmatively impeding the agencies' ability to



do their job.



     293. While the private agency caseworker has responsibility



for developing and overseeing the day-to-day implementation of a



child's case plan, the CWA caseworker retains case management



responsibility for overseeing and ensuring the implementation of



the case plans and approving the child's long-term goals.



     294. Pursuant to this system, however, neither CWA nor the



private agency actually assumes ultimate responsibility for these



children.  As a result, the children frequently are allowed to



languish without appropriate goals or service plans because



neither the private agency nor CWA meets its responsibilities





                              87







independently -- and they fail to work together in the integrated



way envisioned, and required, by the law.



     295. For the approximately seventy percent of New York City



foster children who are placed with private agencies pursuant to



contracts with CWA, there is no clarity among the persons



involved regarding precisely what responsibilities remain with



CWA's supervisory caseworkers and what responsibilities are borne



by the private agency's caseworkers.  As a result, problems are



not addressed, but rather are tossed from worker to worker, and



agency to agency.



     296. Defendants do little to ensure that workers employed by



the private agencies are adequately trained and supervised or



that they have caseloads that enable them to fulfill their



obligations in a manner consistent with reasonable professional



standards.  Upon information and belief, many private agency



caseworkers carry caseloads that are above professionally



acceptable standards.



     297. Private agency caseworkers and agencies are not held



accountable for their actions.  Some private agencies provide



excellent services; others decidedly do not.  Many agencies are



routinely permitted to fall below professionally acceptable



service levels without penalty, and continue to have children



referred to them.  Even when private agencies' failures or



inadequacies are noted by CWA, the agencies are allowed to



continue to care for children without any attempt to ensure that



the problems are remedied.  CWA recently determined that two





                              88







agencies provided such sub-standard care that children should be



transferred to other agencies.  Nevertheless on information and



belief, it has still allowed hundreds of children to remain under



those two agencies' supervision.



     298. Beginning in 1980, a "Program Assessment Service



Report" ("PAS" Report) was prepared for each private agency,



purportedly to enable CWA to evaluate the agencies' performance.



Although these evaluations were never done adequately, in 1989



the evaluation process was made even less rigorous when the PAS



Reports were replaced with "Contractor Overall Performance



Evaluation" ("COPE") Reports.  COPE reports, which remain in use



today, are far less comprehensive and detailed than were the PAS



Reports and are used in conjunction with self assessments



prepared by the agencies to self "monitor" their performance.



     299. Not only does CWA fail to ensure that the private



agencies fulfill their responsibilities and legal obligations to



children, CWA often actively impedes their ability to do so.



Recently, for example, CWA transferred approximately 850 cases to



different private agencies.  Many agencies received memoranda



informing them that, effective immediately, they were responsible



for certain children's cases.  But the memoranda listed only the



children's names.  The children's physical whereabouts were not



provided, nor were their case records, their medical histories or



the identities, telephone numbers or addresses of their



biological or foster parents.





                              89







               Administrative and Judicial Reviews



     300. Defendants are required to provide children in the



child welfare system with administrative or judicial reviews of



their status at least every six months, with a dispositional



hearing after eighteen months, and with regular judicial reviews



thereafter.  The reason for these reviews and hearings is to



ensure that foster children's cases are periodically overseen by



a disinterested person, that children remain in foster care for



as short a period as possible, and that the children's progress



toward achieving permanency is monitored so they do not languish



interminably in foster care.



     301. New York City foster children routinely do not receive



these reviews and hearings in the time periods and manner



required by law.



     302. CWA fails to ensure that voluntary placement agreements



are reviewed by family courts within the required time period.



It routinely fails to file the motions necessary to extend foster



care placements.  As a result of these failures, many children



are placed in foster care or allowed to remain in foster care



without legal authority, subjecting them to unnecessary



instability and uncertainty.  And children are sometimes



discharged from foster care solely because legal custody has



lapsed.



     303. When hearings take place, CWA frequently fails to



provide information sufficient to allow informed decision-making.



As a result, meaningful periodic review of the appropriateness of





                              90







a child's placement, case plan and goal is, as a practical



matter, frequently impossible.



     304. When review of a child's placement does occur, CWA



frequently exhibits a complete lack of accountability for the



child's progress, or lack thereof.  The CWA attorney is often



unfamiliar with the case and the child, and is reduced to reading



the file during the hearing to learn something of what is going



on.  A common scenario has the caseworker from the private agency



handling the child's case defer to the caseworker from CWA, who



in turn defers to the attorney, who is still looking in the file



to learn the child's name.



     305. Orders that particular services be provided or



particular steps taken -- for example, that a petition to



terminate parental rights and free a child for adoption be filed



by a date certain -- are routinely ignored and violated.  By the



time the case returns for a subsequent hearing, many of the



persons who attended the previous hearing have been replaced by



new people unfamiliar with what was previously ordered.



Accountability for noncompliance is effectively impossible.



                       Information System



     306. CWA's information system is antiquated and inadequate.



Computer systems are nonfunctional and do not contain accurate,



up-to-date information.  Computer-generated reports are routinely



manipulated to produce statistics that CWA or DSS deems



acceptable, rather than statistics that reflect either agency's



performance.  Because necessary recording and paperwork tasks





                              91







that should be computerized are not, caseworkers spend fifty to



sixty percent. of their time completing required paperwork.



     307. Record-keeping is so poor that private agencies and CWA



hold widely divergent views about how many children are in the



agencies' care at a given time.  Many foster children cannot be



physically located because CWA has no accurate address for their



placement.



     308. A May, 1994, report by the Office of the New York State



Comptroller stated that while the private agencies in New York



City reported 29,468 children in their care, CWA's computerized



information system reported 25,653 -- a difference of 3,815



missing children.  And a 1994 report by the Office of the New



York City Comptroller found that CWA had listed nearly one of



every five foster children by the wrong address.



     309. Upon information and belief, in 1994 CWA simply lost



the files of 16,000 children who may have been abused or



neglected.



     310. When a case is transferred from one CWA unit to



another, the transfer process is not computerized.  Instead, the



physical transfer of the file frequently takes up to six months,



during which the case remains in bureaucratic limbo, with no



assessment, planning or monitoring.



     311. Case records are incomplete and disorganized.  Many are



simply lost.  Critical information is left for months on index



cards, awaiting entry into computer systems.  And once entered,



the information is not accessible to those who need it.





                              92







     312. A November, 1993, review of a series of CWA case files



indicated that it took, on average, two hours just to organize



each file sufficiently to evaluate its contents.



     313. Front-line caseworkers who must make critical decisions



do not have access to current information necessary to make wise



professional choices in the interests of children and families.



Upon information and belief, one of the factors precipitating



Elisa Izquierdo's recent death was that CWA's information about



her and her family was located into three separate computer



files.



              Ineffective Maximization of Resources



     314. Upon information and belief, defendants do not take the



steps necessary to ensure that the New York City child welfare



system receives the maximum amount of possible federal financial



support.  Some funds are lost because defendants do not keep



adequate records, a condition of receiving federal funds, even



though such revenue could provide additional, sorely needed



services to the plaintiff children.



     315. Many of the expenditures in the New York City child



welfare system are unnecessarily high, without providing benefits



for children and families.  Duplication, waste, inefficiency and



mismanagement have produced a system that is both bloated and



lacking in necessary services.  Defendants have never made



serious efforts to reallocate funds in a way that would eliminate



expensive waste while ensuring better services.





                              93







           Lack of Planning, and Prevailing Priorities



     316. Defendants do not engage in the type of long-term



strategic planning necessary to resolve the problems confronting



the child welfare system.  CWA commissioners rotate in and out,



averaging fifteen to eighteen months per term.  When new



commissioners arrive, all planning typically is placed on hold



for months.  Planning is episodic and in reaction to real or



perceived crises, not long-term and based on the needs of



children and families.



     317. There is no central control, guidance or leadership.



The system is not professionally or consumer-driven.  There is



inadequate collaboration with other human service systems or



state agencies.



     318. Despite the demonstrated inadequacy of its present



system and recommendations that child welfare and foster care



services be reorganized or decentralized in whole or part, CWA



has failed to seriously consider any organizational changes that



might help improve its ability to serve children and families.



     319. Although its provision of protection and services to



children and families is woefully inadequate, unprofessional and



illegal, CWA's current "reform" efforts are driven not by the



goal of improved services but in large part by a single clear



objective: spending less money on children and families.



     320. On June 30, 1995, CWA stopped providing children



leaving foster care to live on their own, or the parents to whom



they are discharged, with $500 "discharge grants" to help pay a





                              94







security deposit on an apartment or purchase furniture or clothes



to facilitate the transition out of government custody.



     321. On October 10, 1995, defendant Croft wrote a memorandum



to defendant Giuliani in which she stated that CWA's training



academy lacks the resources "to measure competency."  If



reductions in resources proceed according to current plans, the



memorandum continued, "it will not be possible to design or



implement comprehensive competency systems without the infusion



of sufficient, skilled staff."



     322. In 1996, CWA plans to implement a new "managed care"



foster care system which will reward those private agencies that



move children out of foster care more quickly, without giving



adequate consideration to the quality or appropriateness of the



services the agencies provide.



     323. CWA's focus on the financial bottom line is further



evidenced by a recent memorandum from CWA's Bronx Borough



Director to the social work supervisors in her charge.  Entitled



"Caseloads Control," the memorandum read: "Please encourage your



workers to follow this simple mathematical equation (for every



opening you should have two closings/transfers).  If we do so the



caseload levels will remain under control."



     324. After this memorandum was reported in the press,



defendant Giuliani defended it as "good management."





                              95







                 HISTORY OF INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE

            AND DEFENDANTS' KNOWLEDGE OF THIS FAILURE



     325. CWA's widespread failure to meet its legal obligations



to children and families is long-standing and well known.5 For



at least the past decade, these failings have been thoroughly



documented and repeatedly brought to defendants' attention.



     326. As early as 1984, a study prepared by the New York



State Department of Social Services ("DSS") Metropolitan Regional



Office -- entitled "Review of New York City Child Protective



Services Program" -- concluded that child protective



investigations were not completed in a timely manner in 40.5% of



the cases, and that children were not even seen by the



investigative worker in 27.5% of the cases.



     327. In the same year, the Bronx District Attorney -- in a



report entitled "The New York City Experience with Child Abuse"



-- concluded that caseworkers and supervisors were inadequately



trained in important areas of field work including evaluation of



medical evidence, interviewing techniques, acquisition of data,



preservation of evidence, and recognition and monitoring of



families who manifest high risk indicators of maltreatment.



     328. In 1985, the State Senate's Standing Committee on Child



Care -- in a report entitled "Child Protective Services: A System



Under Stress" -- determined that caseworkers often closed cases



prematurely and without delivering necessary services.  Nearly

_____________________



     5    Prior to 1987, CWA was known as Special Services for



Children.  For the sake of clarity, CWA is referred to



throughout.





                              96







half of the families sampled received no services during the



pendency of child abuse or neglect investigations.



     329. In 1986, a report prepared by the Neighborhood Family



Services Coalition -- entitled "The Continuing Crisis"



determined that the annual staff turnover rate among protective



service workers was fifty-five percent citywide, ranging from



twenty-five percent in Queens to eighty-nine percent in



Manhattan.



     330. In 1987, HRA itself found -- in a report entitled "New'



York City Child Protective Services, Work Analysis Project"



that half of the Protective/Diagnostic case records which were



reviewed were missing required documents.  HE further concluded



that in a significant number of cases service plans and



assessments were either non-existent, or exceedingly vague with



no indication of how to measure progress, and the permanency



goals often seemed unrealistic.



     331. In 1988, HRA found further problems with the City's



child welfare system.  In a report entitled "Overview of Foster



Care Services," HRA concluded that legally mandated caseworker



visits with children in foster border homes and their foster



families were completed in only forty-nine percent of the cases,



that only fifty-four percent of CWA workers attended in-service



training sessions, and that only half of all case managers were



formally trained.



     332. In 1989, a large number of reports regarding the City's



child welfare system were published.  The New York City





                              97







Comptroller's office -- in a report entitled "Now We Are Four"



determined that CWA altered dates and backdated forms in twenty-



two percent of its cases in order to document compliance with



case planning mandates.  Despite such fraudulent record-keeping,



the records indicated that mandated ninety-day reviews were



completed an average of thirty-nine days late, six-month UCR



reviews were completed from 14 to 104 days late, and in thirteen



percent of the cases studied CWA case planning had lapsed for at



least a year.



     333. Also in 1989, DSS concluded that CWA could not even



locate fifty percent of the records requested, and that service



plans often were not reviewed by supervisors or case managers.



     334. The State Comptroller found -- in a report entitled



"Management of Preventive Services Cases Assigned to Voluntary



Agencies" -- that CWA did not properly supervise the voluntary



agencies, and failed to ensure that the services provided by the



agencies were sufficient to meet client needs and achieve



established goals.



     335. Finally, a report by the Manhattan Borough President's



Advisory Council on Child Welfare -- entitled "Failed Promises:



Child Welfare in NYC" -- found that caseworkers were not meeting



with their clients and that, even when families were identified



as needing services, such services frequently were not provided.



     336. In 1990, a report prepared by CWA's Office of Field



Services -- entitled "Quality Assurance and Case Enhancement



Audit" -- concluded that home visits were not even attempted





                              98







within forty-eight hours in eighty-eight percent of child



protective investigations.



     337. That same year, a report by the Office of the State



Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York -- entitled "Delivery



of Preventive Services to Children and Their Families" -- found



that services deemed necessary for children and their families



were often not provided, and that families and children were not



receiving the minimum number of required face-to-face contacts



with their caseworkers.



     338. A 1990 report by the Task Force on Permanency Planning



For Foster Children -- entitled "Kinship Foster Care: The Double



Edged Dilemma" -- concluded that in kinship foster care cases,



the goal of discharge to parent was frequently unrealistic.  In



some cases, the goal of reunification was continued year after



year, even when the parents were doing nothing to remediate the



cause of the child's removal, or when their whereabouts were



genuinely unknown.



     339. In 1992, HRA's Child Fatality Review Panel Report



revealed that planning for the medical or health needs of



families was far below accepted standards of health practice.



Caseworkers often limited their review of the family's medical



care needs to noting whether the children had all their



inoculations.



     340. Also in 1992, an assessment of CWA prepared by New York



State Senator Franz S. Leichter -- entitled "New York State



Abandons Victims of Institutional Child Abuse" -- concluded that





                              99







rates at which child protective investigations were confirmed



were so low as to raise serious questions as to the effectiveness



of the investigative program.



     341. In 1993, Carol W. Williams, then of the Center for the



Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C., now Associate



Commissioner of the Children's Bureau of the federal Department



of Health and Human Services, concluded -- in a report entitled



"The Placement and Evaluation Process for Children In New York



City's Foster Care System" -- concluded that:



          a.   The transfer of information between CWA and

     private agencies is "cumbersome and frequently never

     completed;"



          b.   "Case records are often incomplete and

     disorganized, making critical information about a child's

     background and needs difficult, if not impossible, to

     access;"



          c.   Evaluations of children's needs are not carried

     out in a timely manner or in accordance with good social

     work practice;



          d.   "Available placement resources that meet the

     specialized needs of children are severely inadequate in the

     City, particularly for troubled adolescents, children with

     severe behavioral and emotional problems, and young teens

     with babies;"



          e.   "Many children unnecessarily experience multiple

     placements;"



          f.   "Serious staffing, training and supervision

     problems throughout the system negatively impact on all

     areas of practice;" and



          g.   CWA's computer system does not support good social

     work practice.





     342. Also in 1993, a report prepared by the Courts Committee



of the Mayor's Commission for the Foster Care of Children --



entitled "Child Welfare at a Crossroads" -- concluded that





                             100







caseloads of CWA case managers and their supervisors had grown



unacceptably high and were at unmanageable levels.  Indeed, these



caseload levels virtually precluded any face-to-face contact



between the case manager, private agency staff and the families



served.



     343. In 1994, a study conducted by the State Comptroller's



office -- entitled "Children in Foster Care in Voluntary Agencies



Not Receiving All Required Services" -- determined that CWA was



failing to properly monitor the care provided to children by



private agencies.  Seventy-nine percent of the cases reviewed had



at least one private agency service plan that had not been



approved by a CWA case manager.



     344. Finally, also last year, a report prepared by the New



York City Comptroller -- entitled "Now We Are Nine" -- determined



that the timeframes set forth in state regulations and CWA



policies which seek to assure that no child experiences prolonged



stays in foster care, were consistently unmet and unenforced.



The report concluded that CWA's disregard for milestones had



deprived children of the permanency planning mandated by the law.



     345. Despite this year-after-year, comprehensive



documentation of defendants' illegal conduct, defendants have



failed to remedy these multiple problems or to bring the New York



City child welfare system into compliance with the law.





                             101







                        CAUSES OF ACTION



          First Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     346. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, plaintiff children are being deprived of the



rights conferred upon them by the First, Ninth and Fourteenth



Amendments to the Unites States Constitution.  These rights



include but are not limited to their right to protection from



harm; their right not to be deprived of a family relationship



absent compelling reasons; their right not to be harmed --



physically, emotionally, developmentally or otherwise -- while in



state custody; their right not to remain in state custody



unnecessarily; their right to be housed in the least restrictive,



most appropriate and family-like placement; their right to



treatment; their right to equal protection of the law and not to



be discriminated against by virtue of their handicap or



disability; their right to receive care, treatment and services



consistent with competent professional judgment; and their right



not to be deprived of state or federally created liberty or



property rights without due process of law.



         Second Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     347. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children are being deprived of the



rights conferred upon them by the federal Adoption Assistance and



Child Welfare Act of 1980 and the State plan approved and adopted



as a condition of New York receiving federal funding under the



Act.  These rights include but are not limited to plaintiff





                             102







children's right to have defendants implement a preplacement



preventive services program designed to help children remain with



their families or be returned to their families; their right to



timely written case plans that contain mandated elements and to



the implementation and review of these plans; their right to



placement in foster homes or facilities that conform to



nationally recommended professional standards; their right to



placement in the least restrictive, most family-like setting;



their right to proper care while in custody; their right to



planning and services to secure their permanent placement at the



earliest possible time; their right to regular judicial and



administrative reviews of their foster care placements; their



right to dispositional hearings within eighteen months of



entering custody and periodically thereafter; and their right to



receive services in a child welfare system with an adequate



information system to permit decision-makers to make fully



informed choices in the children's best interests.



          Third Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     348. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children are being deprived of the



rights conferred on them by the federal Child Abuse Prevention



and Treatment Act.  These rights include but are not limited to



the plaintiff children's right to prompt and professional



investigations of allegations of abuse or neglect; their right to



protection form those who endanger their health and welfare; and



their right to such administrative procedures, trained and





                             103







qualified personnel, programs and facilities as are necessary to



address the problems of child abuse and neglect in New York City.



Fourth Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     349. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children are being denied the



rights conferred upon them by the Early and Periodic Screening,



Diagnosis and Treatment program of the federal Medicaid Act.



These rights include but are not limited to the plaintiff



children's right to receive periodic general physical health



examinations administered by competent medical professionals at



age-appropriate intervals determined by a panel of independent



health care experts; their right to receive periodic hearing and



eye examinations, mental health examinations, dental examinations



and lead blood tests, administered by competent medical



professionals at age-appropriate intervals; their right to



receive all necessary childhood vaccinations and boosters at



appropriate times; and their right to receive any and all



treatments deemed necessary by a qualified medical professional



conducting any of the above-mentioned periodic health



examinations.



          Fifth Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     350. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children are being deprived of the



rights conferred upon them by the federal Multiethnic Placement



Act of 1994.  These rights include but are not limited to the



right to have potential foster and adoptive parents aggressively





                             104







recruited from among racial and ethnic minority communities to



facilitate prompt. and appropriate foster and adoptive



placements.



          Sixth Cause of Action, Against All Defendants



     351. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children who are handicapped or



disabled by their physical or emotional conditions are being



deprived of the rights conferred upon them by the federal



Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Rehabilitation



Act of 1973.  These rights include but are not limited to the



plaintiff children's right to participate fully and receive the



benefits of the state child welfare and foster care programs; and



their right to receive any and all services necessary for them to



participate fully in the state foster care program despite their



handicaps or disabilities.



                     Seventh Cause of Action,

          Against Defendants Giuliani, Hammons and Croft



     352. As a result of the foregoing actions and actions of the



defendants, the plaintiff children are being denied the rights



conferred upon them by Article XVII of the New York State



Constitution.  These rights include but are not limited to the



plaintiff children's right to not arbitrarily or capriciously be



denied those benefits to which they are entitled by virtue of



their status as needy persons.



                     Eighth Cause of Action,

          Against Defendants Giuliani, Hammons and Croft



     353. As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of



the defendants, the plaintiff children are being deprived of the





                             105







rights conferred upon them by state statutory laws and



regulations.  These rights include but are not limited to the



plaintiff children's right to have allegations of child abuse or



neglect investigated within specified time periods and in a



specified manner; the right of each child who is determined to be



eligible for pre-placement services or who is in foster care to



be provided with a service assessment and a service plan within



specified time periods and in a specified manner; the right of



each plaintiff child and her family to receive services in



accordance with the child's service assessment and plan,



including case contact, case planning and case management



services; the right of children in foster care to reside in a



placement appropriate to her particular needs and to receive



necessary supportive and rehabilitative services; the right to



have all potential foster homes, foster parents and other



placements investigated and monitored in a specified manner



before any plaintiff children are placed in them; the right to



have those homes and placements supervised, visited and inspected



periodically in a specified manner; the right of all foster



children to either be returned to their families or freed for



adoption and adopted so as not to languish interminably in foster



care; the right to have their cases judicially and



administratively reviewed at specified intervals and in specified



manners; and the right to be served by a child welfare system



with policies and personnel adequate to enable it to fulfill all





                             106







state and federal mandates in accordance with reasonable



professional standards.



                        PRAYER FOR RELIEF



     354. The plaintiffs respectfully request that the court



grant the following relief:



          a.   Assume jurisdiction over this action;



          b.   Certify this action as a class action pursuant to



     Rule 23(a) a (b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;



          c.   Enter declaratory and injunctive relief necessary



     and appropriate to remedy the defendants' violations of the



     plaintiffs' rights under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth



     Amendments to the United States Constitution; the Adoption



     Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, 42 United States



     Code  620-27, 670-79a; the Child Abuse Prevention and



     Treatment Act, 42 United States Code  5101-06a; the Early



     and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)



     program of the Medicaid Act, 42 United States Code  1396a,



     1396d(a) & (r); the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, 42



     United States Code  622(b)(9); the Americans with



     Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code  12101 et seq.;



     the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code  794,



     794a; Article XVII of the New York State Constitution; the



     New York State Social Services Law, Articles 2, 3, 6 & 7;



     the New York State Family Court Act, Articles 6 & 10; and



     applicable state regulations, 18 N.Y.C.R.R.  400-484;





                             107







          d.   Award to the plaintiffs the reasonable costs and



     expenses incurred in the prosecution of this action,



     including but not limited to reasonable fees and costs



     pursuant to 42 United States Code  1988;



          e.   Appoint a receiver with full authority to oversee



     and direct the implementation of all the injunctive relief



     granted by the court, to restructure the New York City child



     welfare system, and to take all steps necessary to ensure



     that the child welfare system operates in full compliance



     with all applicable law;



          f.   Retain jurisdiction of this matter to ensure full,



     adequate and effective implementation of the relief ordered



     by the court; and



          g.   Enter such additional relief as the court may deem

      

     necessary and appropriate.























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