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Oklahoma DHS Faces Federal Class Action Lawsuit (Feb 13, 2008)
A national child advocacy group has filed a federal class action lawsuit against Oklahoma, claiming the state is victimizing foster children in its care. The group Childrenís Rights filed the nearly ninety-page complaint this morning in Tulsa federal court on behalf of nine children in foster care and the thousands of other children in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. The organizationís Director says Oklahoma has known about abuses in its foster care system for a decade, but failed to take corrective measures.

The suit lists five areas where DHS has failed in operating a foster care system, including running overcrowded and dangerous emergency shelters, allowing excessive loads for caseworkers and offering grossly inadequate levels of payment to those caring for children.

WEB EXTRAS:
Read the press release Childrenís Rights issued announcing its lawsuit

See the text of the lawsuit (PDF file)

Read a statement the Oklahoma Department of Human Services has issued in response to the allegations

Listen to an extended interview between KGOU's Kurt Gwartney and Marcia Lowry, Director of Children's Rights.

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