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The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled last week that the city can be held liable for the behavior of foster parents. The new decision is based on a case that dates back 20 years, in which two kids were allegedly abused by their foster parents. The city argued it was immune to such liability under a state social services law. The law states that “any person or official institution participating in good faith…in the removal or keeping of a child…shall have immunity from any liability, civil law criminal that might otherwise result by reason of subjections.” But the court decided it does not apply to foster care. The city plans to appeal the ruling, according to a spokesperson for the Law Department. Child advocates said the court decision won’t expose the city to too much risk. “We are talking about a case happened two decades ago. Current level of supervision of foster homes has increased significantly,” said Karen Freedman, executive director of Lawyers for Children, a children’s rights organization. “But it’s always important to remind the city, as well as the private agencies, that when a child is transferred to their care, they are responsible to ensure that child remains safe.” (X. Rong)

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