Breaking Silence: NYC Parents Speak Out, Sue Child Services for Accountability!


CybersecdnIn a landmark legal maneuver, Shalonda Curtis-Hackett, a resilient mother of three from Brooklyn, has joined forces with fellow parents in launching a class action lawsuit against the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). This bold initiative, spearheaded by the Family Justice Law Center, aims to address systemic flaws within the child welfare system and challenge the alleged misconduct and overreach of ACS caseworkers.

Curtis-Hackett’s harrowing ordeal began in 2021 when she received a distressing call from an ACS worker, accusing her of child neglect. Recounting her traumatic experience, Curtis-Hackett describes feeling intimidated and coerced by the caseworker’s intrusive tactics, which ultimately led to unwarranted scrutiny of her family and a profound disruption of their lives.

The class action lawsuit, representing Curtis-Hackett and eight other aggrieved parents, seeks to hold ACS accountable for what plaintiffs claim are illegal searches, deceptive practices, and violations of parental rights. David Shalleck-Klein, the visionary founder and executive director of the Family Justice Law Center, asserts that the lawsuit is not intended to impede ACS investigations but rather to ensure that they are conducted lawfully and ethically, without infringing on the rights of families.

NYC Parents Speak Out, Sue Child Services for Accountability

One of the focal points of the lawsuit is the alleged use of coercive tactics by ACS caseworkers to gain entry into homes and conduct intrusive searches, including rummaging through personal belongings and demanding that children undress. Such practices, plaintiffs argue, not only violate constitutional rights but also inflict psychological harm on children and families subjected to unwarranted scrutiny.

In response to mounting criticism and legal challenges, ACS spokesperson Marisa Kaufman has issued a statement reaffirming the agency’s commitment to child safety and parental rights. While acknowledging the need for continued improvement, Kaufman asserts that ACS remains dedicated to fostering equitable and just outcomes for families involved in child welfare investigations.

The class action lawsuit underscores broader concerns about racial disparities and systemic biases within the child welfare system, with Black and Latino families disproportionately impacted by ACS interventions. Recent data indicates that Black children are significantly more likely to be subject to ACS investigations, highlighting persistent inequities in the administration of child welfare services.

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As the legal battle unfolds, Curtis-Hackett and her fellow plaintiffs are determined to secure justice and accountability from ACS, seeking not only monetary damages but also systemic reforms to prevent future injustices. The outcome of this landmark case has far-reaching implications for child welfare policies and practices in New York City, underscoring the imperative of upholding parental rights and protecting vulnerable families from unwarranted state intervention.

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