National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

Youakim v. McDonald

Plaintiffs (foster parents and children who would lose benefits because their homes were not state licensed) challenged the new licensing requirements of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which required relatives taking care of foster children to become licensed. Until the relatives became licensed foster parents, children in relative homes would lose foster care benefits. Plaintiffs alleged the requirements violated the original judgment in Miller v. Youakim, 440 U.S. 125 (1979), Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and the Due Process Clause.

Overview

FILE NO., COURT AND DATE FILED

95-2575 (N.D. Ill., Apr. 28, 1995)

CITATIONS

926 F. Supp. 719 (N.D. Ill. 1995); 71 F.3d 1274 (7th Cir. 1995), reh’g and reh’g en banc denied, (Jan. 17, 1996), cert. denied, 518 U.S. 1028 (1996); 171 F.R.D. 224 (N.D. Ill. 1997)

CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW NO.

15,393

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS

Robert Lehrer
Diane Redleaf
Lehrer & Redleaf
36 S. Wabash, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 332-2121
Fax: (312) 332-1717
lehred1@aol.com

John Bowman
National Center on Poverty Law
205 W. Monroe
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 263-3830

HISTORY AND STATUS

The district court enjoined the director of DCFS from terminating benefits, and the director appealed. On December 6, 1995, the Seventh Circuit held that due process requires that the governmental agency provide current recipients the opportunity to establish eligibility under the new standards before eliminating their benefits. Defendant’s motions for rehearing en banc and certiorari were denied. The court entered final judgment requiring compensatory payments to all class members.