Kenny A v. Perdue

The Barton Center has no official role in the Kenny A v. Perdue litigation. We closely follow this case because it has brought about significant reforms in Georgia’s child welfare system. Information related to the consent decree for the state defendants comprised a substantial part of Georgia’s self-assessment for the 2007 Federal Child and Family Services Review, and practice and policy has changed throughout the state because of the benchmarks and infrastructure changes required by the consent decree.

The consent decrees with Fulton and DeKalb Counties have dramatically changed the way that deprived children are represented in court in those counties. An order issued during this case is the only one in the country where a federal judge has found that deprived children have a state statutory and state constitutional right to counsel in abuse and neglect proceedings. This case has been watched closely by legal scholars and practitioners around the country who are concerned about a child’s right to counsel.

The Barton Center did participate in one phase of the litigation—the Barton Center, as an independent member of Georgia’s child advocacy community, provided formal written comments and oral testimony at the Fairness Hearing held on the proposed settlement agreement with state defendants in 2005. The Barton Center requested that additional safety measures be added into the proposed settlement agreement and that some of the outcome measures be adjusted to provide more accurate information over time. The Barton Center’s requested changes were not included in the final consent decree.

General Information

Chronology (most recent events first)

NOTE: Additional events have occurred in this case since 2008, including that Fulton County and DeKalb County are both no longer under the jurisdiction of the court because they successfully completed the terms of their settlement agreements. Additional information and documents from 2008 to the present will be added to this page.

Barton Clinic summaries and other documents related to Kenny A v. Perdue have been compiled and edited by the following: Karen Worthington, Director; Elizabeth Reimels, Managing Attorney; Jessica Gordon, 2005-2007 Post-Graduate Fellow in Law; Rachel Davidson, 2005-2006 law intern; Turquoise Haskin, spring 2006 law intern.