Top Stories of 2019: Child Welfare Litigation Liftoff

We’re counting down 10 of the biggest stories The Chronicle of Social Change published in 2019. Each day, we’ll connect readers with a few links to our coverage on a big story from this past year.

Last year, Marcia Lowry’s nonprofit litigation firm A Better Childhood received a sizable anonymous donation to expand its operation. This year, it filed lawsuits against child welfare systems in four states.

Lead Read

In July, A Better Child filed a class-action lawsuit request in New York City, highlighting failures by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services to provide the right services to children and families, support concurrent planning and match children with appropriate foster care placements.

Also Read

Just prior to the suit filed in New York, A Better Childhood filed class-action lawsuits in Oregon and Indiana. In September, the organization filed another one in West Virginia calling out the high removal rates of children and challenges locating and placing children with relatives.

In Texas, a the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services was held in contempt on child welfare reforms by a federal judge after a motion was filed in mid-October by Children’s Rights and A Better Childhood.

Mike Leach helped Tennessee move out from under its long-running child welfare lawsuit. The Chronicle interviewed him about his plan for how to do the same in South Carolina.

A potential landmark deal was reached in Children’s Right’s lawsuit against the state of Missouri over its practices regarding the use of psychotropic medications with foster youths.

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
About John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change 1210 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at