CAI Joins Amicus Curiae Brief Challenging Agency Taking of Foster Youth's Survivor Benefits

On October 11, 2010, CAI joined the Public Justice Center, Legal Aid Bureau, Randall & Sonnier, and Susan Leviton as amici curiae in Myers v. Baltimore County Department of Social Services, et al., challenging the Baltimore agency's interception and use of a foster youth's survivor benefits without ever notifying the youth that such funds were available and were being received on his behalf by the Agency. The lawsuit, and now the appeal, argue that the Agency's actions are unconstitutional, violate the Social Security Act, and violate the agency’s inherent fiduciary duty to serve the best interests of foster children.

The brief of amici curiae argues that the Agency's actions diminish each affected child’s chances of developing into a healthy and responsible adult, and urges the Court to require that the Agency use such benefits in a manner that directly furthers the child’s individually-determined best interests. Alternatively, amici argue that if the Agency is allowed to retain a foster child’s survivor benefits as reimbursement for services rendered, the Agency must not do so in any particular case without first providing direct notice to the child and presenting a detailed accounting of the agency’s particular expenditures on behalf of the child in question.

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