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LOS ANGELES — Three organizations representing about 78,000 foster children in California have sued the state for failing to compensate foster parents with federal funds owed them. The California State Foster Parent Association, Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting and the California State Care Providers Association filed the suit on behalf of licensed foster parents of children who have been removed legally from their birth parents. California State Foster Parent Association v. John A. Wagner, No. 07-5086 (N.D. Calif.). The plaintiffs were represented by the Children’s Advocacy Institute and Morrison & Foerster’s Kimberly Van Voorhis and Marc Peters, both partners in the Palo Alto, Calif., office, and Stephen Keane, an associate in San Diego. The suit alleges that the state has failed to compensate foster parents with federal funds that are designed to cover basic costs such as food, clothing, shelter, school supplies, liability insurance and travel. The average amount paid to licensed foster parents beginning next year will be about $530 per month. The problems have caused the percent of licensed foster family homes in California to decline, the suit claims. The suit was filed against John Wagner, director of the California Department of Social Services, and Mary Ault, deputy director of its children and family services division.

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