Friday, May 18, 2018

Catholic Social Services Sues Philadelphia Over End To Foster Care Referrals

A suit was filed in a Pennsylvania federal district court this week by Philadelphia Catholic Social Services and two of its clients challenging action taken by the city of Philadelphia to stop foster care referrals to the agency.  The city took the action because of CSS's policy against placing foster children with same-sex couples.  The complaint (full text) in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, (ED PA, filed 5/16/2018), alleges in part:
Catholic Social Services remains willing and able to continue its ministry serving children in Philadelphia. It wants to help alleviate the foster care crisis in Philadelphia, and it has not and will not prevent any qualified family from becoming a foster parent, be it through Catholic Social Services or a referral to another agency. But because of the City’s actions, Catholic Social Services is unable to place foster children with families. Its 100-year-old ministry to at-risk children is in jeopardy.
The complaint alleges violation of Pennsylvania's Religious Freedom Protection Act, the 1st and 14th Amendments. Pennsylvania constitutional provisions, the Philadelphia city charter and breach of contract. Becket Fund issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.