On December 18, 2017, Plaintiffs commenced this action, by and through their next friends, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. (Doc. 1). The complaint alleges that DHS has failed to provide the required appropriate services to dependent children with diagnosed mental health disabilities in Pennsylvania. The following facts are derived from the complaint.
DHS, through the Child Welfare system and its Office of Medical Assistance Programs (“Medical Assistance”), is responsible for providing appropriate mental health care. (Id. at ¶ 3). The complaint paints a picture of the sad reality for various dependent youths in Pennsylvania. Many dependent children with mental disabilities end up in large, congregate facilities for years while they wait for appropriate placement from DHS. (Id. at ¶ 4). Others end up waiting for months or years in inappropriate settings, such as psychiatric hospitals, juvenile detention facilities, and residential treatment facilities (“RTFs”) while they wait for placement from DHS. (Id. at ¶ 5). Each of the named Plaintiffs in this action has been diagnosed with mental health disabilities and has been adjudicated dependent. (Id. at ¶ 9). They are all eligible for medical assistance from DHS. (Id. at ¶ 54).