National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

M.B. v. Howard Class Action Settlement

In July of 2020, NCYL reached a settlement in M.B. v. Howard, a class action lawsuit against the state of Kansas over its egregious treatment of youth in foster care. NCYL represents the plaintiffs, a class of all youth who are or will be in Kansas’ foster care system. For years, Kansas has subjected children to extreme housing instability due to the state’s failure to maintain an appropriate array of foster care placements. Children were bounced among any one-night stay, couch, or contractor office that could be found; some moved more than 20, 50 or even 100 times. Meanwhile, the state failed to provide children in foster care with desperately needed mental health screenings and services. The settlement agreement will fundamentally change children’s lives by ending the placement practices that render them essentially homeless and ensuring access to vital mental health care services.

The settlement agreement is available for review here.

Before the judge enters final approval of the settlement agreement, he will hold a hearing where children and their legal representatives, families, and caregivers can present any positive or negative comments or objections about the settlement agreement.

The hearing will be before the United State District Court Judge Daniel D. Crabtree on January 22, 2021, at 9:00 A.M., in courtroom 476, the Robert J. Dole Federal Courthouse, 500 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101.d

If the date, time, or location of the hearing changes, or if any other information about the hearing changes, the new information will be posted on this page.

You have the right to submit written comments, objections, or support about the proposed Settlement Agreement. You can also request to speak at the hearing. Comments, objections, support and requests to speak must be RECEIVED by December 7, 2020. They must be submitted by U.S. mail or email to:

Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Inc.
Attention: Teresa A. Woody
211 East 8th Street, Suite D
Lawrence, KS 66044
fostercaresettlement@kansasappleseed.org

OR

National Center for Youth Law
Attention: Leecia Welch
1212 Broadway, Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94612
lwelch@youthlaw.org

For more information on how to submit comments, objections, or support about the settlement agreement or to request to speak at the hearing, please review the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement.

The judge’s order of preliminary approval of the settlement agreement is available here.

The plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint is available for review here.

Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees and costs is available here, and the supporting brief is available here. All documents filed with the motion for attorneys’ fees and costs are available in the “Documents” section below.