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North Carolina: “Lawsuit accuses DHHS of ‘warehousing’ NC children with disabilities in foster care”
Brown floor, light teal wall on the left, light yellow wall on the right, a cot covered in plastic, with no sheet in the center.

“They are often confined to prison-like settings under the care of a poorly trained and understaffed workforce, where they are subject to broken bones, sprains, bruises, and dangerous physical and chemical restraints,” the lawsuit contends.

Disability Rights North Carolina and the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP have joined forces to help children of color with disabilities in the state’s foster care program get more community- and home-based treatment instead of being “warehoused” in locked psychiatric facilities that can be dangerous.

The civil rights advocates filed a joint lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina against Kody Kinsley, in his role as secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, on behalf of at least four children, the court-appointed guardians tapped to represent their interests and others similarly situated.

The 74-page filing highlights a decade of problems that Disability Rights and the state NAACP contend DHHS has known about and failed to address. They claim more than 500 children a year in the ward of the state are housed in psychiatric residential treatment facilities, often many miles away from their families, schools and caseworkers familiar with their life stories.”

Click here to read more about the effects of being confined in such facilities where, “Disability Rights contends that DHHS has long known about and cataloged abuse occurring, but sends children in foster care to them nonetheless.”

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