National abuse prevention and treatment organization asks SCOTUS to protect state child welfare efforts from lawsuits that do not improve outcomes for children
PHOENIX (Jan. 16, 2020) — Childhelp, the Nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit focusing on prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse, has filed an amicus (or ‘friend of the court’) brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in an important case for at-risk children out of the State of Arizona. The brief supports the State of Arizona’s request that the Supreme Court review lower court decisions allowing a class-action lawsuit to proceed against the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
“All children are unique and precious,” said Peter Gentala, Childhelp’s general counsel. “Efforts to help vulnerable children need to be tailored to each family and each child’s situation. That’s why this lawsuit, which attempts to artificially package the experiences and challenges of tens of thousands of children, makes no sense and will not improve outcomes for children.”
The brief points out that similar litigation in other states has resulted in millions of dollars spent on attorneys and rigid, less responsive federal monitoring of state efforts to serve children — all without improving outcomes for children.
“The Department of Child Safety should be free to work with families, communities, nonprofits, and providers to serve children. This lawsuit forces it to receive permission and approval of a federal court before everything else. That is an unnecessary bottleneck, which could have tragic results for children,” Gentala said. “We hope the Supreme Court will prevent that from happening in Arizona, as well as provide guidance for the rest of the country.”
The primary author of the brief, and Counsel of Record before the Supreme Court, is Dominic Draye of the law firm of Greenberg Traurig.
About Childhelp: Founded by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson in 1959, Childhelp® has brought the light of hope and healing into the lives of more than 10 and a half million children as a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping abused, neglected and at-risk children. Childhelp’s programs and services include residential treatment services, children’s advocacy centers, therapeutic foster care, group homes and child abuse prevention, education and training. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline serves children and adults nationwide 24/7 through phone, text and online chat. For more information, visit www.childhelp.org and follow Childhelp at facebook.com/childhelp, instagram.com/childhelp and twitter.com/childhelp.