Some stories just break your heart. But in this story DSHS had so many opportunities to prevent and stop these children from being harmed, what might have been merely a heart breaking tragedy became a story that calls out for justice.
My hat is off to the brave plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ attorneys in this case who kept up their legal fight against DSHS for nearly 5 years before DSHS compensated these children for the harm they suffered. Hopefully cases like this that hold DSHS accountable will begin to make a dent in the Agency’s bureaucratic process-driven mindset. Any agency that takes children from their parents to protect them had better understand and appreciate that it has now taken on the awesome responsibility of ensuring those children are actually protected.
To the uninitiated, $5.3 Million might seem like a substantial settlement, but when I imagine it being split among four children who went through years of torment while DSHS remained deaf to their complaints and the enormous legal costs I am sure were incurred to fight the State for 5 years, I am glad the children will at least know they finally got the State’s attention and forced it to face up to the damage it caused in their lives. Maybe, as an eternal optimist, they can join me in my hope that this case might cause DSHS to take its responsibilities more seriously, and this will protect children in the future from having to go through such a horrible ordeal.