City Sued for Keeping Catholics from Providing Foster Services

‘What justice is there in taking stable, loving homes away from children…?’

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(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) Philadelphia foster parents filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city over policies that prevent Catholic Social Services from helping children because of their beliefs about same-sex marriage.

Sharonell Fulton, a foster parent, filed a complaint alongside other foster parents, according to a release from Becket, the law firm handling the case.

“What justice is there in taking stable, loving homes away from children? If the City cuts off Catholic Social Services from foster care, foster moms like me won’t have the help and support they need to care for special-needs kids,” Fulton said. “I have relied on Catholic Social Services for support for years, and the City is taking away this help and causing harm and heartache to countless families like mine.”

Fulton has been a foster parent for 25 years and has taken care of more than 40 children during that time, with two kids currently in her house, and she relies on the Catholic Social Services for support and information as she works to care for the children.

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“Catholic Social Services works with foster parents like Ms. Fulton, who has cared for children with severe medical problems and trauma from past abuse,” the official complaint reads. “On an average day, Catholic Social Services serves more than 120 children in foster care, and it supervises around 100 different foster homes. Through its combined programs, Catholic Social Services served more than 2,200 different at risk children in Philadelphia last year.”

Becket’s lawyer focused on how the Catholic Social Services have helped Philadelphia, and the new policies only hurt children.

“For a city with so much history, the people in charge have a pretty short memory,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket, which represents the families, children and Catholic Social Services. “For a century, Catholic Social Services has been serving children in Philadelphia. Those children are the ones hurt by the City’s actions.”