Foster care litigation expands to cover all Hawaii's foster families
From Hawaii Appleseed, August, 2015
Class certification was just granted in Hawaii Appleseed’s case seeking additional funding to meet the basic needs of children in foster care. The class certification order means that this case no longer only applies to the few foster parents already involved in the litigation, but to the hundreds of foster parents and children throughout the state.
Families with foster children volunteer their homes and time, while the state provides them a monthly payment intended to cover all the costs of caring for these children. Before the suit was filed, this payment was just $529 per month, as the state had refused to increase it for nearly 25 years. The families should be receiving close to $1,000 if the payment had simply been adjusted for inflation.
After the lawsuit was filed in September 2013, the state increased the payments by $50–$150 depending on the age of the child—still far less than foster families should receive. Hawaii Appleseed, along with its co-counsel Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Morrison Foerster, continues to advocate for the families to receive a larger increase, with a trial set for October 2015.