Tired of hearing from state authorities that they know the foster care system is in need of an overhaul, child welfare activists in South Carolina have taken matters to the federal court. Eleven foster children are the plaintiffs.

The suit claims children in the state’s foster care are abused, dehumanized, and belittled. It states specific instances that some of the plaintiffs have experienced. One of the desired results of the suit would be to have a court-appointed monitor oversee caseload restrictions. The availability of regular health screenings and visitation privileges for some of the children would also be desirable.

With far too few foster homes, poor health care services for foster children, and overworked employees, these children are suffering. Many of them are as bad or even worse off than when they were placed in the state’s care.

According to Time, South Carolina’s Department of Social Services is “re-victimizing the very children it is charged to protect.”