New Hampshire Sued over treatment of foster care youth

The New Hampshire Disability Rights Center is suing the state of New Hampshire in federal court over its treatment of foster youth with mental health impairments, alleging that the state is over-institutionalizing them and putting them at “severe risk of dangerous and tragic outcomes.”

The 61-page lawsuit, brought jointly with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, and Children’s Rights, Inc., alleges that children aged 14 to 17 in New Hampshire state custody have had their constitutional rights violated by the state, and are not provided adequate legal representation.

Gov. Chris Sununu condemned the class action lawsuit Friday, which he called a ploy by a national special interest group – Children’s Rights, Inc. – to seek attention and bring recent state reforms “to a grinding halt.”

But representatives for the New Hampshire-based organizations said in statements that the lawsuit was rooted in problems specific to New Hampshire, which they said houses teenagers in group homes at a disproportionally high rate compared to other states.

The lawsuit features four plantiffs, “G.K.,” “C.I.,” “T.L.,” and “R.K.,” each of whom are children in the system. The genders of each of the plaintiffs have been kept anonymous in the pleadings…

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