Mayor Fenty in Contempt

Judge says city hasn't done enough for child welfare

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Adrian Fenty was found in civil contempt by a federal judge.

    A D.C. federal judge who has presided over a long-running battle with the city’s child welfare agency found Mayor Adrian Fenty in contempt.

    U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said the city has not done a satisfactory job of improving the care and protection of abused and neglected children.

    For more than three decades there has been an ongoing battle between children’s rights groups and the city’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).

    Those groups say they want to see reform that would require the CFSA to reduce the number of times children in foster care bounce from home to home. They also want to see improvements of visitation between children and parents who are slated for reunification. And they want to reduce the long periods of time that children are eligible for adoption wait for adoptive homes.

    D.C. officials claim they have complied with the court order and made significant strides with the CFSA. They had requested the agency be released from its court-appointed monitor.

    However in today’s ruling, Hogan said, “Although the District’s child welfare system has improved drastically from the dismal state it was once in, the defendants have yet to deliver a fully satisfactory child welfare system.” Hogan also denied the city’s request to remove oversight.

    Hogan found the mayor in contempt for appointing a new director of the CFSA without consulting the court monitor. He said that violated an agreement from 2008.

    D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said the Fenty administration does not agree with the ruling. It will file an appeal.