Class action lawsuit challenges Texas foster care

DALLAS — A class action lawsuit claims "deficiencies" in the Texas foster care system force thousands of children to live in poorly supervised institutions and frequently move from place to place.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Corpus Christi by the New York-based child advocacy group Children's Rights.

The suit also contends that Texas children in foster care languish for years without permanent families, face a higher risk of abuse, are denied mental health services and are routinely separated from their brothers and sisters.

The plaintiffs are nine children between the ages of nine and 16. Gov. Rick Perry is among the named defendants.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said the agency was preparing a statement.