Court: DSHS liable for children’s safety with foster parents

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington State Supreme Court has that the state is responsible for protecting children from abusive foster parents.

The Seattle Times reports that in the 5-4 decision the court ruled that the state Department of Social and Health Services “owes a duty of reasonable care to protect foster children from abuse at the hands of their foster parents.”

The majority opinion broadened the definition of protection within relationship from one where there is physical custody, to one where there is someone has been entrusted with the welfare of another.

The ruling affirms a decision by the Court of Appeals and sends a case brought by five children against DSHS back to trial.