Monday, May 15, 2017

Court Rejects Challenge To State's Use of Religiously Affiliated Child Placement Agency

In In re R.M., (KS Ct. App., May 12, 2017), the Kansas Court of Appeals rejected an argument that the state violated the Establishment Clause by contracting with  Saint Francis Community Services, an Episcopalian organization, to provide childcare services on behalf of the state.  The issue was raised by a mother who was contesting the state's termination of her parental rights to her two children.  The court said in part:
Mother has shown no evidence that Saint Francis encouraged, let alone coerced, her children into participating in religious activities or conditioned their receipt of any benefits on such participation. None of the case plans or court orders contains any reference to religious acts or beliefs or requires Mother or her children to do anything of a religious nature. Mother has not shown anything of a religious nature in the homes her children have been placed in.