Grandparents Sue Indiana DCS for Depriving Severely Disabled Children of Services

October 30, 2015 9:45 am

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Indianapolis – Grandparents who are caretakers of their severely disabled grandchildren and who are ready to adopt them have filed suit today against the Indiana Department of Child Services for failing to approve adoption assistance payments that will allow them to continue to adequately care for the children. The lawsuit claims that the State’s actions violate Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Greene County residents Julie and David Arthur and their three special needs grandchildren, challenges a DCS decision to cut the Arthurs’ benefits by about two-thirds once they adopt the children. The Arthurs are licensed foster parents who provide intensive care to the children, ages six, four and two. The children suffer from a wide range of medical and behavioral disorders including the inability to walk or talk, eating difficulties, seizures, asthma and head banging. The children require constant supervision, and the couple has had to cut back on their own employment to provide care.

“The federal government provides money to the State of Indiana to allow special needs adoptions to occur and to allow the adoptees’ needs to be met,” said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director. “We believe that DCS is failing to comply with the law in this case.”

The case, Julie Arthur and David Arthur, et al., v. Director, Central Eligibility Unit, Indiana Department of Child Services 1:15-cv-01718-JMS-MJD was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, on October 29, 2015.

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