Disability Rights Center – NH

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Unlawful Treatment

Image has red stripe diagonally across top corner with white letters that read ‘Lawsuit Filed'. Photo of large wooden steps upon which four teens sit towards the top of the image. Only the bent legs and shoes of each person are visible. Three wear blue jeans, one wears black jeans. All wear sneakers.

Disability Rights Center-NH (DRC-NH) recently filed two class action lawsuits. In the first suit we joined the ACLU of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, the national advocacy group Children’s Rights, and the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in challenging New Hampshire’s unlawful treatment of older youth in foster care. We are asking the state to protect the rights of older youth with mental health conditions in its care.

“The teenage years are difficult for many children, but they are exponentially more challenging for children who have been removed from their parents due to allegations of abuse or neglect,“ said Karen Rosenberg, Senior Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Center – NH.

“These teens need to feel connected to their families, friends, schools, and communities to navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood. By unnecessarily institutionalizing older youth who could receive mental health treatment and supports in their communities and live successfully with family members or with foster families, New Hampshire unlawfully deprives children in its care of the community-based services and family placements they need to grow into successful adults.”

Learn more about this case at drcnh.org/litigation/lawsuit-filed-unlawful-treatment-in-foster-care.

Failure to Deliver Services

Image has red stripe diagonally across top corner with white letters that read ‘Lawsuit Filed'. Photo of close-up of older couple holding hands. In the second case, we joined New Hampshire Legal Assistance, the AARP Foundation, and the Manchester office of Nixon Peabody LLP in filing a class action litigation against the state of New Hampshire on behalf of older adults and persons with disabilities enrolled in the state’s Choices for Independence (CFI) Medicaid waiver program. Our complaint alleges that New Hampshire has failed to properly deliver CFI services for at-home care—placing enrollees at risk of unnecessary and dangerous institutionalization in nursing facilities.

“Some of our most vulnerable citizens are one crisis away from unnecessary institutionalization because they are not getting essential CFI services, “ said Pamela Phelan, DRC-NH’s litigation director. “Without these services, they linger for hours or days alone in bed or confined in their own homes, unable to attend to basic personal needs. The State has long been aware of these problems and we cannot wait any longer for a solution.”

Learn more about this case at drcnh.org/litigation/lawsuit-filed-cfi-waiver.

 

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DRC-NH, in collaboration with the UNH Institute on Disability and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities, distribute a quarterly RAP sheet to educate community members and policy makers about the latest research, policy, practice, and advocacy issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

Latest RAP Sheet

We Must Do Better

By Kelly Nye-Lengerman, Stephanie Patrick, and Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre Every few months, staff from the Disability Rights Center-NH, UNH Institute on Disability, and NH Council on Developmental Disabilities gather together to plan the focus area for each issue. We consider the most pressing issues and look at where there are opportunities to help our readers understand these...