Federal lawsuit filed in support of American Indian and LGBTQ+ youth

YUROK, Calif. (KIEM) – A federal lawsuit has been filed by a California based coalition of Indian tribes, a foster youth group and LGBTQ+ youth organizations to protect children in foster care.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children and Families are being sued for unlawfully disclosing data of foster children’s tribal membership and affiliation, sexual orientation and how agencies identify and serve American Indian and LGBTQ+ youth in the foster care system.

In May of this year, the Trump Administration eliminated requirements that child welfare agencies report data on American Indian and LGBTQ+ youth and their families.

The administration then upended more than 10 years of work within the foster care system.

With nearly 500,000 children in U.S. foster care, who predominately come from marginalized populations, low-income families, and communities of color, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribe, Abby Abinanti says it is really important to have the infrastructure of information otherwise it is difficult to monitor the systemic issues that arise and know where the children are placed.