Washington DCYF/DSHS/CPS Foster Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
As Washington DCYF/DSHS/CPS foster abuse lawyers, we initiate litigation against the State of Washington on behalf of those who have suffered horrific abuse and neglect as the result of the failure by the state to protect them. We represent those who have been starved, severely beaten, locked away, repeatedly raped and sexually molested, and the families and loved ones of those who have died as the result of state negligence.
The Tragic Failures of DCYF, DSHS & CPS
The Washington Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”) is charged in part with overseeing the state’s foster care system. Through its agency, Child Protective Services (“CPS”), it also is charged with investigating and taking appropriate protective action when abuse or neglect of children is suspected. Additionally, the role of Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (“DCYF”) is to support children and families both physically and emotionally.
Tragically, DCYF, DSHS and CPS sometimes appallingly fail to do their jobs. When this happens, horrific abuse, neglect, and death can result. Child sexual predators are allowed to become foster parents. Reported claims of abuse are not properly investigated, or appropriate protective action is not taken. Abuse, neglect, and rape continue, and sometimes death occurs.
Our Clients Have Suffered Greatly
The negligence of the State of Washington is often the result of:
- Placing children with foster parents who should never have been eligible to server as foster parents (which could be as the result of a history of violence, substance abuse, alcoholism, or severe mental illness);
- Failing to adequately investigate reports of possible abuse or neglect;
- Failing to detect environments in which abuse or neglect is likely to occur; or
- Failing to ensure that those placed in foster care are in safe environments, free from abuse or neglect.
When the state fails in any of these areas, our children pay a horrible price. Unfortunately, our system will only change when the state is forced to confront its failings and the horrific abuse that results.
In the News – Media Coverage of the Cases of Our Clients
We Sue the State of Washington for its Wrongful Actions and Negligence
When the state is responsible for wrongdoing, victims (and often attorneys) are hesitant to sue. This is not the case with our firm.
We have successfully sued the State of Washington many times and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients who have suffered terribly as the result of the negligence and disastrous decisions by DSHS and CPS. We seek full financial compensation for the injuries and psychological damage inflicted, and for the long-term intensive therapy often required. We know that injuries and pain and suffering continue long after physical abuse stops. We work tirelessly to prove liability and the full extent of the damages suffered by our clients in order to recover for them every penny in compensation to which they are entitled.
It’s Never Too Late
Whether the abuse occurred recently, or many years ago, it’s never too late to pursue justice for childhood abuse. Though many types of cases are barred after a certain period of time under the statute of limitations, childhood abuse, and especially childhood sexual abuse, has special exceptions that can allow a claim to be pursued many years – even decades – later. If you or someone you love was the victim of childhood abuse, please contact us today.
Call Us Today to Learn How We Can Help You
If you or a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect as the result of negligence on the part of DSHS or CPS, please contact us today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and when we learn about your case, we can advise you of your options to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. We accept cases on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no fees for us unless and until we obtain a recovery for you. In the interim, we have created this site to provide information about our services and recent cases of child abuse as the result of the failure by state agencies to take appropriate action. We hope that you will join our cause and urge states to implement the proper procedures and oversight needed to ensure the safety of our children.
Schmidt v. State of Washington
A couple had a history of CPS investigations over several years regarding their children. DSHS continuously failed to complete proper follow-up on the reports it received. The couple then fled with their six siblings to avoid CPS inquires. CPS knew that they had left to New Mexico, yet failed to inform New Mexico of the active investigation.
The six siblings were subjected to horrific sexual and physical abuse while in New Mexico, until one of them was able to escape. A settlement of $9,000,000 was obtained by Ressler & Tesh for these children.
Wolf v. State of Washington; E.Q. v. State of Washington
DSHS received dozens of reports regarding abuse and neglect of 5 siblings over several years, yet failed to properly investigate or inform the dependency court of what was happening with these children. The siblings suffered years of sexual and physical abuse at their hands of the biological father. In addition, DSHS failed to complete a required background check on the children’s step-grandfather, who was a registered sex offender.
Ressler & Tesh obtained a $7,875,000 recovery on the behalf of these children.
Wolf v. SCO Family of Services
Dependent children from Washington and New York were placed by a New York foster care agency into a home with a known history of concerning allegations of neglect. Ressler & Tesh obtained a $6,250,000 recovery against this agency for these children.
Wenger v. State of Washington
Four children were placed into an abusive home where they were abused both physically and sexually by their foster (and later adoptive) parents. DSHS later admitted that they failed to adequately vet the Wengers prior to licensing them as foster parents. The four children received a global settlement of $5,300,000.
Coster v. State of Washington
Four foster children suffered physical and sexual abuse in an unlicensed foster home on the Nooksack Indian Reservation. The children were placed in the home due to a lack of communication between DSHS and the Nooksack Indian tribe. As a result of this case, the children received compensation in the amount of $5,050,000. In addition, the case resulted in changes in the information sharing procedures between DSHS and various Native American service agencies.