DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on a federal court challenge to the Texas foster care system (all times local):
A federal appeals court has halted implementation of a judge’s order that Texas make sweeping changes to its foster care system.
The stay by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday puts the entire case on hold until it can hear arguments against the final order issued hours earlier by U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack.
The state had sought the stay in its immediate appeal of Jack’s ruling. She said in the ruling that much work remains for the state to cure the woes of the foster care system she had found unconstitutionally broken two years before.
A judge has ordered Texas to make sweeping changes to its foster care system two years after she found it unconstitutionally broken.
U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack on Friday issued her final order in the case regarding those in long-term foster care. She told the state an overhaul must include improvements in record keeping, caseworker visits and where children are placed.
The ruling follows her December 2015 opinion in which she wrote that those labeled permanent wards of the state “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”
Jack then appointed two experts to help craft an independent overhaul. State officials have fought the judge’s oversight, saying they’ve been working on their own changes.
The state filed notice of appeal shortly after Jack’s order Friday.