Five individuals have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the City of New York that alleges its Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), in the course of investigating child abuse or neglect, consistently discriminates against parents with “actual or perceived intellectual disabilities” who are being, have been, or will be investigated for child abuse or neglect by the agency. The 36-page lawsuit alleges that ACS, in the course of its child abuse or neglect investigations, consistently discriminates against the plaintiffs and proposed class members by failing to “provide services, programs, and activates tailored to their needs,” as well as assuming that intellectually disabled parents are unable to parent safely.
The plaintiffs argue that as a result of ACS’s allegedly discriminatory practices, parents with intellectual disabilities are “disadvantaged at every stage of a child welfare case,” in that ACS almost always:
Finds evidence of neglect or abuse;
Seeks court intervention at the start of an investigation rather than offer preventive services;
“More readily” removes or requests removal of children from intellectually disabled parents; and
Delays the reunion between children and such parents.