State Wants To Seal Filings In DCS Class Action Lawsuit

Sep 9, 2019

The state wants to shield a lot of information from public eyes in a class action lawsuit against the Department of Child Services.

The group suing the state opposes that push.

New York-based advocacy organization A Better Childhood filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hoosier foster children. It argues, for instance, DCS fails to provide stable homes for kids and moves them around too much.

READ MORE: DCS Responds To Lawsuit, Calls It 'Inflammatory'

The state wants court filings in the case sealed and redacted – it says children’s confidential information is otherwise at risk. But A Better Childhood executive director Marcia Lowry says not everything should be sealed.

“When we have an expert, for example, look at the case of a particular child and say, ‘Well, this happened and that happened and this happened – and that was all devastating to the child,’" Lowry says. "We think that information should not be sealed – only without telling the child’s name, family members’ names, that kind of stuff.”

Lowry says it’s important the public learn how DCS handles children.

A judge will decide whether to grant the state’s request to seal the filings.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5